Our Animals

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All of the animals you will meet here were rescued or have been re-homed with AATPC. We provide a permanent home for all these animals, including when they retire, or if they no longer choose to participate in therapy. Our commitment is to give our animals their best lives and to do everything we can to ensure they are happy, healthy and free. 

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HORSES

Misty

Misty - miniature horse

Misty is the queen of the paddock. She was born around 1998 and is a miniature mare. She originally came to AATPC with her half-brother Stormy who passed away in 2016.

For a small horse Misty has a lot of personality! She definitely knows her mind and will let you know how she feels. Misty can be a very sweet horse and she can also be very independent.

There are many times that Misty chooses to work with clients and some times she needs her time alone. Just like all our animals, we respect Misty's right to choose when and how to engage with humans. This is an important lesson for our clients, many of whom are learning about health relationships with the help of our animals.

Hawk1Hawk - horse

We adopted Hawk in October from Equine Angels of the Rockies. He was born in 2016 at the rescue to a mother who was purchased off a feed truck. She had been very thin and ill when they rescued her, and also pregnant. Hawk's mother still lives at the rescue. Hawk grew up with a lot of interaction with children and adults and so is very calm and easy-going. He readily goes to people to receive scratches and pets and especially loves to have rump pet! He and Misty are already very close friends and he is extremely protective of her. If she is lead away and out of his sight Hawk becomes very upset and vocal and Misty wants to come right back to be near him. These two are going to be good teachers about Codependency! 

BatmanBatman - miniature horse

Batman is our newest horse addition. Batman was born around 2006. He was originally rescued (we don't know that story) and has lived with at least two different owners since then. His latest owner hoped that Batman could be in a place where he had more human interaction as he had formerly enjoyed going to the local high schools and visiting with special education students.

Batman is only 33" tall at the withers. He is even smaller than Misty. Even though he is small his previous owner said that he wants to be the lead horse. We see his confidence and self-assurance and is making fast friends with Misty and Hawk. Even the alpacas seem to like Batman!

Batman is a very calm and easy-going horse. He will be our starter horse for clients who have no horse-experience. We are excited to get to learn more about his personality and strengths as a therapy horse.

DONKEYS

daisy

Daisy - donkey

Daisy and Millie came to live with us at Barking Cat Ranch on December 15, 2018. We adopted them from The Horse Protection League (HPL) of Arvada. Not a lot is known about their history but for a few details. Donkeys come in pairs when adopted and the two have been bonded for five years at HPL before coming to AATPC. Daisy is 9 years old. Previous to being at HPL, Daisy was a part of the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program. She was reported as being the best adjusted of the pair. One of her favorite activities is to get back end scratches. 

millie

Millie - donkey

Millie is 10 years old and was at Long Hopes Donkey Shelter before going to HPL. She is believed to have been neglected/abused previous to being rescued by High Hopes and came from a slaughter pen. Her half ear on the right side easily identifies Millie. She tends to be more shy and reserved than Daisy. Both Daisy and Millie are adjusting well and love all of the attention from staff, clients and volunteers alike!

 

ALPACAS

Kronk2

Kronk - alpaca

Kronk (originally Davos) and Kusco (originally John Snow) were born at Espiritu Alpacas in November 2017. Although they are not related they were born within days of each other. Both of their mothers were part of the original herd of 22 alpacas that Pamela rescued in 2012 when she found them at a location no larger than a suburban driveway, with a cardboard shelter and no veterinary care for years. A group of 7 had been purchased and then allowed to interbreed over and over, resulting in genetic issues that caused physical deformity and early death.  The first year they had seven babies, all born prematurely due to genetic issues.  Because of this (and the fact that they are a rescue!) they had refused to allow breeding...until one winter day when they had a mountain lion attack, and needed to move all of the boys in with the girls.  And then....one year later, they had babies, but fortunately healthy ones this time!  So, Davos and Snow are the result of that 'safety measure' that allowed for a night of breeding!!

Kronk is by far the more friendly and confident of the two Alpacas. He is already allowing people to pet his neck and give his soft fur scratches. He loves to walk around the pasture on his leash and roll around in the scratchy plants. Kronk also really likes his gums rubbed! 

KuzcoKuzco - alpaca

Kuzco is much more shy and nervous and watches Kronk for his cues. He is really vocal and makes little alpaca mewing sounds. Alpaca's are like cats in the way that they learn to trust people. They are independent and curious, but also very cautious. They want to know the people around them are trustworthy. So Kuzco will be an excellent teacher to our clients in how to respect boundaries and recognize nonverbal communication. We are very happy he is with us!

 

GOATS

dahliaDahlia - pygmy goat

Dahlia is our other Pygmy goat. She was born 2 weeks after Duncan on 2/26/2011 and has lived with him since that time. She is a very calm and sweet girl who loves attention and is happy to be kissed and hugged. She is also a nibbler of fingers and toes and clothing but then looks so innocent it's hard to be mad at her.

Dahlia is very outgoing and enjoys being with children and adults, and even loves to play in groups of children. Dahlia also works with each of the therapists at AATPC and is around most days to interact with the clients.

Dahlia has a lot of character and a very sweet disposition. She loves children about her size and tries to "play" with them by standing on her back legs and dancing towards them! She is also a "house goat" and on especially cold days enjoys meeting her friends inside the cottage. 

WallyWally - Nubian goat

We adopted Wall from a kind family who no longer had time for their goats and wanted them to have a more fulfilling life. With his sister Lilly, Wally moved to the Barking C.A.A.T. Ranch in September 2018. They were born in 2015. Wally is a very large goat with a very large personality! He is super friendly and comes to meet everyone with a goat smile and friendly bump. He is very gentle but loves to goat wrestle with his sister and play push-over with the staff. He and Lilly are very close and stay together throughout the day. You can tell that Wally loves his new life here at the Ranch as he is quick to make new friends. 

LillyLilly- Nubian goat

Lilly is Wally's sister and she is much smaller than him, but a lot bigger than our pygmy's! Lilly is a handful - she is rambunctious and playful, and still a little too rough for our young clients to interact much with her. She is usually very sweet and loves to be pet and brushed. But she also likes to kiss HARD which unfortunately hurts. So until we can curb these behaviors Lilly will be observed by clients more than interacted with.  

 

DOGS

Rupertwithpurpleframe

Rupert - dog mix

Rupert was born in 2010 and is a Labrador Retriever/Border Collie mix. He was originally left at the Dumb Friends League along with his litter mates. Freedom Service Dogs, an organization in Englewood CO that specializes in training rescue dogs to work as Service Dogs, adopted Rupert and started his training. Shortly into his work they found that Rupert had some social anxiety issues, which disqualified him from their Service Dog program. Dr. Chassman has since adopted him and Rupert has earned his Certification as a Therapy Dog through Professional Therapy Dogs of Colorado. Rupert is well-loved by children of all ages who identify with his energy and enthusiasm, (as well as his ADHD).

Rupert's favorite thing in the whole world is to fetch the ball and Frisbee. So we spend a lot of time each day meeting this "need" for Rupert so that he can be calm later on when we need him in the therapy room. He is always available to assist in an outdoor session by retrieving any thrown item. He loves his job as a therapy dog!

WoodyWoody - dog mix

Woody was adopted when he was 10 weeks old. He is a 5 year old Bichon Frise and Shih Tzu mix, who loves people. Woody is sweet and gentle with all ages especially if they will throw the ball for him. He likes to play but he also likes to cuddle and give kisses.

Woody is excited to be a part of a therapy team and is Certified with his mom, Lindsey Chandler through Professional Therapy Dogs of Colorado.

 

CATS

18512975 1189189241210547 5758672904728346624 nSigmund - cat 

Sigmund was born in February 2015. He was found wandering around Evans Boulevard in Denver with a lame front leg. He was taken to Cat Care Society in Lakewood where they realized they could not repair his leg (it had either been broken some time earlier or he was born with the deformity) and decided to amputate.

Linda met Sigmund the day after his surgery and quickly fell in love. Even after just losing his limb, he was playful and loving. He loved being picked up and would snuggle and be held like a baby. Linda realized how much Sigmund would love to be at the ranch and how much the staff and clients would love him. 

Sigmund is now the unofficial greeter at the Ranch. He can often be found snuggling on a client who just walked in (especially the new clients) or on the chest of a napping parent. He is a role model for all of us in how to overcome adversity. Despite only having 3 legs, Sigmund is playful, happy and fast! He loves to try to dash outside when possible but doesn't protest when brought back inside.

Clementinebrightened

Clementine - cat 

We don't know a lot about Clementine's background, other than she was taken from a cat hoarder's home and ended up at IMHS. She was very frightened around people and seemed to have had very little human contact. In many ways Clementine exhibits symptoms of PTSD, and even though she will let people pet her, she is very particular, and still shows a great deal of anxiety.

Clementine is clearly in love with humans and wants very much to be touched and loved, but we still see her ambivalence and fear. She is a very good therapy animal for our clients who have experienced trauma since you can see Clementine working very hard to overcome her fear and learn to trust humans. You can normally find Clementine in the staff's office sitting on her bed in front of the window.

Neville2Neville - FIV+ cat

Neville's birthday is 1/27/2013. He is a very social, friendly cat, although not a big fan of being picked up like Smoke. He is best friends with Oliver. 

Neville is also FIV+ but in otherwise very good health. He loves to chase toys and cuddle with Oliver. He also likes to flop on his back and expose his tummy when he's happy. 

Oliver2Oliver - FIV+ cat

Oliver was born around September 2014. He was found as a feral cat in Denver and often seen wandering across busy streets. He frequented a women's home where she had other cats and gave him food. He was eventually trapped and brought to the Cat Care Society. Upon testing Oliver was found to be FIV+.

When Linda first met Oliver he was living in a room at CCS with Smoke. While very timid, she was making progress in petting him and getting him to feel safe with human touch. Several of our clients have been able to pet him and help him purr. Because of this Oliver is a wonderful therapy cat. 

FredFred - FIV+ cat

While this may not be the most flattering photo of Fred, it does give you a good idea of his personality! Fred is a talker! He is incredibly social, walks with clients on a leash and will tell you his life story. We adopted Fred from the Denver Dumb Friends League after his family relinquished him because he was an escape artist and they couldn’t keep him safe. Fred also is FIV positive like 3 of our other boys, so they all live together.  

 

IMG 9497 2Marble - cat

Marble was born in April 2019 and came to us as a 4 week old kitten with a group of other foster kittens from Cat Care Society in Lakewood, CO. She had been rescued with around 45 other kittens from Kansas after a round of terrible storms that left the town flooded and abandoned. Marble quickly became a favorite at AATPC with her playful personality and love of attention, and proved to be a great therapy cat. The staff and clients just couldn't let her go, and we made the decision to adopt her from Cat Care Society in August 2019. We love her kitten energy and can't wait to watch her grow up!


RABBITS

Maggie

Maggie - rabbit

We inherited Maggie in 2012 when a family could no longer care for her. While we don't know the exact year of her birth we believe it was around 2009. She had been left in a small, dirty cage outside in the winter for several weeks before she came to us. Initially very shy and reserved Maggie would squeak and give vocal warnings before she bit! Since we adopted her "mate" KC Maggie has calmed down and is a very happy bunny. Now clients can sit on the floor and she will come over to receive pets and scratches. She is incredibly soft and it is very calming to pet her.

Maggie and KC have the run of our small counseling room. She is free to roam and jump on the furniture or hide under the chair. We think her life has been greatly improved by living at the Ranch and she now has many new friends who enjoy bringing her lettuce and fruit for treats. Her favorite play toy is her "pants" which are tunnels she can run through.  

KCpicK.C. - rabbit

K.C. was born around 2012 and is almost totally black, but has a few little wisps of white on his back. K.C. may be the friendliest bunny you will ever meet. K.C. came to us from Colorado House Rabbit Society after being found wandering the streets in Idaho Springs. He has always been a mellow bunny but now that he has Maggie as his mate, he is especially happy.

We adopted K.C. so that Maggie could have a friend. since rabbits are social, and matriarchal. So Maggie actually chose K.C. as her partner. We wouldn't say it was love at first sight, but after a few days getting to know K.C. she definitely wanted him with her. Now they groom each other and snuggle together. We are very happy for these two rabbits now that they have each other!


GUINEA PIGS

RosieRosie - skinny pig

Rosie was born 11/26/2017. She is a "skinny pig", or a hairless guinea pig. Rosie looks particularly vulnerable without hair, but she has a big personality. She loves to cuddle and LOVES green peppers. She whistles when she's very happy, such as when people come into feed her and play with her. In July 2019, after months of battling issues with her eyes, Rosie had her right eye removed. We learned that eye issues are common with guinea pigs and that they can live completely happy and healthy lives with only one eye. So now Rosie is our hairless, albino, one-eyed beautiful girl!

We love Rosie as a therapy animals because she teaches us about gentleness and grace and internal beauty. While Rosie doesn't look like her haired cousins, she is perfect and lovable, and teaches all of her clients to never judge a book by its cover. 

GloriaGloria- skinny pig

Gloria was born in September 2019. She is a black "skinny pig", which means she is a hairless guinea pig (although she has a little fuzz around her muzzle). We don't know much about her past, except that she was left in a box in front of the Denver Dumb Friends League.

Like Rosie, Gloria has a bold, curious personality and often wastes no time coming out to sniff whoever is in the room. She is talkative and, usually, within just minutes of being held, will begin making sweet little noises, sounds that guinea pigs use to display happiness. Even though she's just been around a few people, we can already see that she is going to want to be a helper.

As herd animals, guinea pigs are happiest when they have a friend nearby. Gloria was rescued from the Denver Dumb Friends League to be a companion for Rosie. She will spend some time in a separate enclosure, next to Rosie, so they can (hopefully) become the best of friends.

SnickersSnickers - guinea pig

We adopted Snickers from the Foothills Animal Shelter so that Rosie could have a friend (guinea pigs are herd animals). Snickers was born in August 2017. She was with her mother and father at the shelter - the family had been relinquished from a home that could no longer care for them. It has been challenging for Snickers to leave her parents after being with them for 6 months. She is still shy and nervous.

Guinea Pigs are prey animals and it will take Snickers some time to learn that she can trust the giant humans who want to play with her. As is our policy with all our animals, we are giving Snickers as much time as she needs to feel safe and decide if and how much she would like to engage with the staff and clients. Staff are currently just petting her, and occassionally picking her up, and letting her and Rosie have "play dates" in their play pen. Our committment is to give Snickers a happy, fulfilled life with us whether or not she decides to be a therapy animal. We will continue to give her the time she needs to decide how much human contact she would like to have.

SmoresSmores - guinea pig

Smores and Rollow were born on the first day of Spring, March 20th, 2018. They were a happy (and quick!) surprise! We did not know that Snickers was pregnant when we adopted her - but on that day, within minutes she produced 2 beautiful, fully-formed babies! S'mores is very social of the two and has a sweet guinea pig "purr" when she is held and pet. She is the cuddliest of all the piggies!

RollocloseupRollo - guinea pig

Rollo is the only male guinea pig and the brother of S'mores. When he was old enough to be weaned from Snickers he was separated from the girls and moved to the Rabbit Room. By accident Rollo escaped and immediately started to purr and cuddle up to the rabbits. He quickly fell in love with these larger, cuddly creatures, and adopted them as his new parents. Now we are pretty sure Rollo thinks he is a rabbit! He still hangs out with them during the day and plays with the clients as well.  Rollo has a ton of personality!

 


RATS

Gus GusGus-Gus - Rat

Gus-Gus was rescued from a reptile store along with her four siblings. Initially we were told that Gus-Gus, Oscar and Dwight were males, so the staff voted on some stereotypical male names. Upon meeting with the vet, she concluded that all of the rats were actually female! Gus-Gus was too fitting a name for this sweet little rat to change it, and who's to decide what makes a name male or female anyway?? Gus-Gus and his siblings are about 6 weeks old, and will be the newest additions to the AATPC therapy animal team once they get a bit older. We're excited to watch all of them grow and develop and see their personalities unfold! 

OscarOscar - Rat

Oscar's story is the same as Gus-Gus's above, being rescued from a reptile store at about 4 weeks old. Now at about 6 weeks, the vet also believes Oscar to be a female. Oscar is sweet and cuddly already she can be easily identified by the distinct line down her nose separating the grey and white fur. We can't wait to watch her come into her own as a therapy rat! 

DwightDwight - Rat

Dwight was also believed to be a male when he was rescued at about 5 weeks old from the same reptile store, only to find out later that she's actually a female! Her markings are similar to Oscar, but she has more grey on her face and less on her body than Oscar. She is also about a week older, we believe, as she is the biggest of the 4 rats. The staff love to give her snuggles and hear her sweet little bruxing noise as she cleans herself on the shoulders of staff members. 

CinnamonCinnamon - Rat

Cinnamon was identified as a female from the beginning, so no surprises there! She is by far the snuggliest of the rats so far, falling asleep in anyone's hands when given head and nose rubs. She is an albino rat, though it may be hard to tell from her photo, identifiable by her red eyes and light colored fur. Though she isn't stark white in color, albino rats can come in various shades of white, such as her very light grey coloring. We are already in love with these four new babies!

 

We have had many therapy animals that have been part of our family but have passed on. We will remember them always. Read Here to learn about our Departed Therapy Animals. 

Barking C.A.A.T. Ranch
(Center for Animal Assisted Therapy)
7275 Kipling Street
Arvada, CO 80005
P 720-266-4444
F 720-266-4444
info@aatpc.org

 
 
 
 
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