Just off the Long Island Expressway, the no-frills Double D Bar Ranch in Manorville offers a haven, and often a last hope, for abused and unwanted farm animals.
Two years after Rich and Gay Devoe purchased their farm in 1997 as a home for their horses, they purchased the adjacent four acres and adopted the 50 animals the previous owner could no longer care for. As news of the rescue efforts began to spread, calls came in asking the couple if they would accept more unwanted animals. Now, the no-kill, volunteer-run rescue aims to adopt animals to good homes but also takes in as many animals as they have room for — they have about 350 — caring for them throughout the animals’ natural lives.
“Between food, shelter, veterinarian services, and medications, it costs just about $2,000 a week to run the ranch,” says Gay, who continues to work a full-time job while both owners use their Social Security checks to fund the rescue.
Over the past 20 years, the ranch has welcomed numerous animals who have dramatic stories.
In December, the ranch’s neighbor, a slaughterhouse, mistakenly purchased a pregnant cow and asked the Devoes if they would purchase her. After scrambling for donations, they saved her and the next day she gave birth to her calf. Both are thriving at the ranch.
When 12-year-old Lumpy the bull passed away from a neurological disease, he left behind his best friend, Norman.
“We moved Norman behind the barn so he would have some company, but he still missed Lumpy. It’s amazing how loving these animals can be” says Gay. “We called the slaughterhouse next door and asked them if they would purchase a young cow for us, and so they came back with Pearl. It was love at first sight, and Norman and Pearl are doing great to this day.”
A visit to the ranch is a great way to learn about the responsibilities of caring for animals, which animals make good pets, and which do not. The ranch is open for tours between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. every weekend, weather permitting.
To donate or learn more, visit doubledbarranch.org/help-us/