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'They're not done yet' | Central Texas woman builds sanctuary for older dogs deemed 'unadoptable'

Rhonda Minardi's dream for Living Canine Ranch started with her mother. That dream became a reality once she adopted her dog, Gracie.

BERTRAM, Texas — Driving down the highway, it looks like like a giant piece of land. But a sign that sits in front reads: "Future Home of Living Grace Canine Ranch."

It was an idea that Rhonda Minardi had when her mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. 

Credit: Living Grace Canine Ranch
Rhonda with her mother Carmelita and Henry

"She said, 'Well what? Who's going to take care of my Lucy?' Lucy was her dog," Minardi said. "Just the look on her face and the tears, I said, 'We'll find her a home!'" 

Credit: Living Grace Canine Ranch
Rhonda's mother Carmelita with her dog, Lucy.

Then, Minardi adopted Gracie and the dream of Living Canine Ranch became a reality.

"I thought, 'Well, all I need is to buy some land and build them a home,'" Minardi said.

Gracie is an older dog who was used as bait before ending up at a shelter. 

"They were going to euthanize her," Minardi said. "She was overbred. She has heartworm, hookworm and she's deaf and blind."

Credit: Living Grace Canine Ranch
Rhonda Minardi's dog Gracie

Gracie became the inspiration. She was proof that dogs everywhere were going to lose their lives because someone deemed them "unadoptable."

"They're not done yet just because they're older," Minardi said. "They still need to be loved."

Construction has already started but the project still needs help with funding. 

If you're interested in donating, there are many different ways to give to Living Grace Canine Ranch.

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