We have long shared a passion for animals, and the livestock sanctuary at Dakota Star Ranch is a wonderful hairy and furry family that we have the privilege of sharing with others. We’ve seen the change in numerous visitors who interact with our animals, whether it’s melting away stress by laughing at their silly antics, or simply connecting with God’s creatures. It’s a beautiful thing.

While we rescued most of our animals from neglect or the meat market, our sanctuary is a closed herd and we’re unfortunately unable to accept any additions at this time. We always encourage and campaign for responsible animal ownership, especially teaching younger generations on the importance of spaying/neutering as well as overall kindness and respect toward animals.

Now. Let’s meet our crew!

As the official welcoming committee, our livestock guardian dogs (LGDs) keep everything lively and secure here at the ranch. Hazel is the keeper of the barnyard and is quite serious about protecting her goats and sheep, while Hank and Bentley take care of guarding and patrolling the pasture against any menacing four-legged creature who doesn’t belong.

Matilda, Maisey, and Marlee comprise our trio of miniature Longhorns; and boy-howdy, they have some attitude! Matilda is the matriarch of their awesome little family, while Maisey and Marlee are “sisters from another mister.” You’ll typically find them in their pasture by the barnyard, but they’re always happy to run in for a treat or a scratch on the head.

Our chickens…..well, they just make us laugh. Each hen has a name and is unique and beautiful in her own special way. They lay some eggs for us when they’re in the mood; but if not, that’s OK. Moses, the CEO of the Chicken Village, is our handsome rooster and a great protector of the flock, though he typically requires daily affirmations from us.

Leo is our big ol’ guy who acts more like a dog than a sheep. He’s smart, loyal, and never afraid to head-butt one of his barnyard siblings just for the fun of it. Our other three little gals, Katahdin hair sheep, are super shy but live up to their elegant namesakes (our late grandmothers): Vera, Darlene, and Laverne.

When we first named Tootsie, Nutter Butter, and Snickerdoodle, little did we know they would be so sticky-sweet yet independent. A cross between Nigerian Dwarf and Pygmy goats, these first farm residents have grown into small but mighty and amazingly fun animals.

Did someone say “cookie?!” Nigel and Jasper, our mini-Nubian goats, are laser-focused on the afternoon’s Cookie Time at the ranch. They unashamedly admit to loving a good brushing and are always available for a good solid hug.

Andy, our fearless barn cat, is truly one of a kind. Not only does he keep us (somewhat) vermin-free, but he also engages in entertaining wrestling matches with his buddy Bentley. Every day he reminds us of just how cool cats can be.

Which brings us to Truffle. A wanna-be barn cat, Truffle has successfully transitioned from city-slicker to country cat while maintaining her self-imposed superiority over every other animal at the ranch. Her household staff is on standby 24 hours a day.