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A sanctuary for unwanted farm animals

Amy Bennett, founder of The Random Ranch, is pictured here with Pandora, who is a recent addition with a sad past. She is carefully being rehabbed.

About 18 miles southwest of Castle Pines, sits The Random Ranch (TRR), a beautiful place for animals of all kinds to live out their remaining years in glorious form.  Amy Bennett founded TRR 12 years ago.  This working farm was not intended to be an animal sanctuary, but it accidentally became one.

Animals end up here because they are unwanted or can no longer be cared for due to a variety of reasons.  With Bennett’s huge heart and determination to keep animals out of harm’s way, this beautiful retreat exists.   The animals have space to run and roam and receive care and compassion second to none.

Bennett’s passion is education.  She will answer questions from anyone and everyone about caring for farm animals and will steer them away from the notion of inadequate living conditions.  She has seen it time and time again with good intentions resulting in devastating outcomes.  “Education is the core of my motivation.  I strive to function as a resource before families acquire animals, with the intention of deterring impulsive purchases or breeding,” offered Bennett.

In recent years, boutique farming has gained traction.  Bennett works hard to expose this unfortunate trend.  Her goal is to improve community awareness about the fundamental care, lifelong commitment, property requirements, and all responsibilities tied to the welfare of farm animals.

“This entails debunking the misconceptions that portray farm animal care as effortless and charming, as often depicted on social media,” she noted.

There are currently 55 animals living their best lives at TRR, including two donkeys, three sheep, four cows, four horses, five cats, seven dogs, 15 chickens and 15 goats.

“It’s hard work,” shared Bennett.  The story of Shawn the sheep is one of countless sad ones.  During an attempted neuter with a rubber band, he became angry and nearly killed his family’s three-year-old daughter.  He is now at TRR and, after rehabilitation and proper care, he is just lovely.

Puck, the cat, was returned three times to the Dumb Friends League for biting.  He is now the best barn cat ever.  After six years, he has never bitten anyone.  “Sometimes, it’s just the wrong homes,” said Bennett.  Jelly Bean is a saintly horse, who unfortunately came to TRR with crushed withers, the ridge between the shoulder blades.  Although he is not ridable, Jelly Bean is used for teaching and the children love her to pieces.

Youth summer camps and classes, as well as fundraising events like Christmas at The Random Ranch, enable Bennett to share her passion with the greater community.  Seeing the animals, learning about caretaking and animal needs provides an eye-opening view into homesteading.  This fall, Bennett is planning more adult opportunities such as Cocktails with Cows, Bingo in the Barn and line dancing lessons.

Murdoch’s Ranch & Home Supply and Rocky Mountain Swag are generous TRR sponsors.  She hopes to gain additional corporate partners, could use an army of heavy lifting volunteers, and appreciates any and all financial donations for hay, vet care and general care.  Costs for caretaking have increased 40% since 2020 and Bennett has started to turn down some animals.  However, she always works within the community to find another home when that is the case.


“Our activities like summer camps, classes, themed parties, and exclusive experiences support the animals’ welfare.  Sponsorships, donations, and successful fundraisers are crucial.  Being a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, all contributions are tax deductible,” offered Bennett.

Learn more about The Random Ranch and the upcoming events, volunteer information and fundraising needs at

family poses with horse

Christmastime at The Random Ranch is just around the corner! Jelly Bean the horse is on full display playing a game of chess. Photo sets are created for families to take adorable Christmas photos with a menagerie of animals or ranch style settings.


By Elean Gersack; photos courtesy of Amy Bennett



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