FOX 21 Special Report: Renee's Rescue Ranch
CLAYTON, WI - Miles from a skyline and crowds of people and traffic sits a 120 acre ranch where Renee Chennell has 38 of her closest friends.
It's a rescue ranch for neglected and abused animals giving horses, goats, llamas and more a second chance at life.
"They love the attention. They need the attention. That's what gives them the will to keep living,” Twin Creek Visions Rescue and Youth Ranch founder Renee Chennell said.
Like Lilly, the potbelly piglet whose owner couldn't take care of her anymore.
"She got sunburned so bad she had an infection,” Renee said.
Once a week she puts up a fight in the bath, but radiates unconditional love thanks to Renee's gentle care.
"People just don't understand how much work they are, and they take them on thinking they're cute, fun, and nice to have around. But then the animals pay the price when the economy goes bad,” she said.
Or when people simply have no use for them, like Bella the horse who fractured her knee.
"If nobody wanted to take the time or effort to put into her because she's not perfect because she's not going to be rideable, she would've ended up dead,” Renee said.
Apart from rescuing, Renee's focus will soon be education.
She's starting up a camp for kids to teach them how to care for animals.
"It's a lesson in love, compassion, and understanding, giving them a place and a sense of belonging and finding something they can connect with," she said.
Volunteers Brittany and Kelly will work as instructors and are eager to show campers what animals can do for them.
"Some people, they don't open up to one another, but to an animal they'll sit there and have a conversation with them all day long,” instructor Brittany Plaster said.
"I'm more of an animal person than a people person. I feel connected to animals like they understand me in a way that people can’t,” instructor Kelly Ploszay smiled.
But sometimes the toughest lessons is when this farm becomes an animal's last stop, like for Nanny the goat.
"She couldn't keep the fight up. She ended up dying on Monday. But she tried, she fought. She wanted to live, but she just couldn't. She was a walking bag of bones,” Renee said.
But with each case comes new hope.
Like Vampy, the injured seven-year-old thoroughbred with Kentucky Derby champions in her bloodline.
"I just couldn't see her get put down because nobody wanted to take the time. She's worth her weight in gold just for the affection and interaction."
With every animal there's a story of survival and a lesson to be learned; all on this 120 acres of tranquility.