Featured Rescue: Hooves and Paws Animal Rescue

Betty White and Shakira would like to invite you down to the ranch for a little meet n’ greet. Both are available for adoption at Hooves and Paws Animal Rescue in beautiful Littlerock, CA. By the way, Betty is a white, fluffy chicken and Shakira, well, she’s a sassy, mane-tossing mare.

Hooves and Paws Animal Rescue opened their doors in 2002, when founder Michele Padilla decided to dedicate her efforts to saving the discarded and forgotten animals that needed it most – livestock and other farm animals. Running a rescue dedicated to farm animals isn’t easy, and when asked why she chose to focus her efforts on them Michele said:

“There are a great number of farm animals who desperately need rescue. About two-thirds of our residents are from animal cruelty situations, others are surrendered to us because of advanced age, disability or behavior quirks. Many face slaughter and euthanasia as a matter of course. We opened Hooves and Paws to provide sanctuary to those animals, and once an animal joins us, they are guaranteed lifelong care.”

Since opening their doors, Hooves and Paws has saved over 400 animals. Among the sanctuary’s free roaming residents are Darby and Gilby, a pair of retired dairy cows; Stanley, a handsome 600-pound pig; Barney, Rockwell and Denise, three of the resident’s many playful goats; a flock sheep; a host of speckled roosters, fantastically feathered turkeys and plenty of playful dogs.

With the generosity of volunteers and donors, Hooves and Paws is able to help animals that many times do not get the same attention as dogs and cats. However, as a non-profit organization dedicated to livestock, there are plenty of challenges. Not surprisingly, funding is always a big one, and as Michele explains:

“We try really hard to always have room for emergency situations, and we never want to be in a position where we can’t properly take care of our animals and give each one the care and attention they deserve. We know our limits. That means we have to say no sometimes, and that is the hardest part.”

As they embark on a new year, Hooves and Paws is working tirelessly to expand its support base to care for existing residents, with the goal of eventually acquiring a larger facility to accommodate new friends.

If you don’t have room for a sheep or a pot bellied pig just yet, Hooves and Paws has plenty of dogs awaiting forever homes too. As for Shakira and Betty, they are eagerly awaiting your RSVP.


Visit Hooves and Paws Animal Rescue via their website and Facebook.

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Charlene Logan Burnett

Charlene Logan Burnett

Charlene Logan Burnett is a writer and animal advocate. She founded Sheltered: An Art Benefit for Animals at Risk for which she received a Pollination Project Grant. She is board member of Pet Assistance League of Northern California and NorCal Collie Rescue.