It all began because of a cat – The Cat Who Came for Christmas to be exact. Providing safe harbor to an abused kitten one Christmas Eve, renowned humorist and humanitarian Cleveland Amory unselfishly founded The Fund for Animals – an advocacy organization speaking for those who can’t speak for themselves – animals.
In 1979, The Fund purchased 85 acres to house hundreds of burros rescued from the Grand Canyon. Today our Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch is a national animal sanctuary that has grown to 1,300 acres with four lakes and a dozen ponds and brooks.
The ranch is America's largest and most diverse animal sanctuary, providing a permanent home to more than 1,300 domestic and exotic animals including chimpanzees, burros, horses, bison, camels, and many others.
These animals' histories are not always pleasant. The animals have been abused, injured, homeless, and threatened; they come to the ranch needing serenity, veterinary attention, and access to food and clean water. Here their needs are addressed, and they have a place to live out their natural lives.
The Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch is home to a horse rescue and adoption center, thanks to the generosity of the Doris Day Animal Foundation.
The ranch is a specialized operation located near Athens. Staff and volunteers care for these animals year-round, and the facility is supported by generous donations from the public. Twice a year, the ranch gates are opened to welcome guests who can walk the grounds, take tours, and meet some of the animals they have read about.
Please visit their website for more information.
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General tourism brochure for Athens, Texas.
A guide to local eating establishments
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