Prescott Valley animal rescue group struggling, might close

PRESCOTT VALLEY, AZ - A Prescott Valley animal rescue housing around 300 animals might have to close unless more help is poured into the shelter.

The Circle L Ranch Animal Rescue and Sanctuary opened five years ago. It has a handful of caretakers and relies heavily on donations and volunteers to survive. The shelter holds a variety of animals, including dogs, horses and goats.

"The problem now is ... the economy," said caretaker Liz Stegmeir, who helps run the ranch. "Our donations have gone down, it's very expensive to keep a place like this running."

Stegmeir began working at the non-profit shelter last year. The ranch is owned by a Scottsdale doctor.

Stegmeir told ABC15 it costs around $100,000 to take care of the animals each year. With the decrease in adoptions and donations, she said they are forced to potentially end their efforts of rescuing dogs, and the problem could grow from there.

"After the dog side closes, we can foresee the other part of the ranch will close, so the whole ranch will end up closing as a rescue," she said.

In order to keep the non-profit operating, Stegmeir said they need donations, adoptions and volunteers, such as Wendy Clore, who takes time each week to help care for the animals.

"I get up every Sunday morning and come out here," she said. "It's like church."

If the ranch does have to close, Stegmeir said the animals on the ranch will still get taken care of, but she worries about the ones she hasn't yet come across.

"We know [the animals out here] are safe, but there's thousands and thousands out there that also need to be helped," she said.

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