Missoulian, October 28, 2009
Ovando’s Rolling Dog Ranch honored by ASPCA for work with disabled animals
By Martin Kidston of the Independent Record
OVANDO – The founders of the Rolling Dog Ranch in Ovando will receive the acclaimed Henry Bergh Award from the ASPCA in New York this week for their dedication to disabled animals.
Citing their unique and often heroic contribution to disabled animals, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has awarded the founders of the Rolling Dog Ranch this year’s Henry Bergh Award.
Steve Smith and Alayne Marker founded the Ovando area ranch nine years ago, taking in blind and deaf animals, and those with other disabilities. While many deem the animals unadoptable or generally unwanted, Smith and Marker have seen things differently.
Smith and Marker have done and continue to do amazing things for the animals they adopt, said ASPCA president Ed Sayres. The Rolling Dog Ranch takes animals that others deem unsuitable for adoption, and it gives them a great life.
Marker, who will attend the event on behalf of the Rolling Dog Ranch, said she and Smith were surprised when the ASPCA called to tell them they had won. We had no idea we were even being considered, Marker said. This type of award is such wonderful recognition for the disabled animals.
The Rolling Dog Ranch’s story has become a national sensation these past few years. Smith and Marker, who founded the ranch in December 2000, have appeared on the “Today” show and graced the pages of People Magazine and USA Today – recognition they say helps generate support for the ranch.