Shelter Me: Gress Mountain Ranch

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Shelter Me: Gress Mountain Ranch. Alicia Vitarelli reports during Action News at 9 a.m. on August 12, 2017. (WPVI)

The Gress Mountain Ranch in Orefield PA is what founder, Kathryn Gress, calls her heaven on earth.

It's a 15 acre serene working ranch with over 80 animals rescued from abusive situations.

"Our mission is animals helping people and people helping animals," says Gress. "It's a forever home. They're not sold. They're not adopted out. They're not fostered out. This is their home."

All the animals on the ranch are specially trained to provide therapy for humans struggling with all sorts of emotional and psychological problems.

"Even if it's been just a day that they can volunteer or even if they're volunteering over a long period of time, you can really see that growth and being better as a person," says volunteer Amber Snell.

The Gress Mountain Ranch is 100 percent volunteer and donation based.

The ranch even hosts a summer camp for kids from 2nd to 12th grade.

"They find out the ownership and the responsibility, that's one of our themes, they learn how to respect each and every animal we have," says Gress.

Kathryn, a former nurse, started the ranch 19 years ago with just a dog and two horses.

"It has evolved into a very special place," Gress says.

Clarence is a 13 year old Turkey who helps people overcome bird phobias.

"He's gonna be one of your oldest members of the ranch," says Gress.

Blue was kept in his stall for 10 years and weighs around 2000 pounds.

"He's getting accustomed to having a life that he can be out of the stall. He's a big guy 17 hands," Gress says.

Winston is the lovable Great Pyrenees who was rescued from a hoarding situation.

"People just gravitate to him. He's got this magical kind of experience of being such a loving dog," says Gress.

If you'd like to support Kathy's mission, visit The Gress Mountain Ranch website.

And, if you'd like us to share your shelter success stories, post a picture to the FYI Philly Facebook page using #6abcshelterme and tell us where you adopted your pet and how much they mean to you.
We'll be featuring your stories on upcoming Shelter Me segments.

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