VIDEO UPDATE: Hens Valentina & Douglas challenge SATX Vloggers

Valentina & Douglas are the 2 adopted Rhode Island Red chickens who are becoming slightly famous. Follow them on YouTube with Shelbi & Madison figuring out how to share their homestead garden with hungry chickens. Madison does the introduction to the newest adventures.

Meet Douglas and Valentina! Our newest additions to the family!

“We got these sweet ladies at @sarasanctuaryorg. After seeing the amazing work Tracy is doing over at the sanctuary last year, we knew adopting our new friends was what we needed to do. If you’d like to volunteer, adopt, or become a Patreon member I highly encourage you to do so!

This week on the vlog though we got a little ambitious and made a mistake…click the video link to see what it was.”

The chicken coup is becoming a real ‘hen house’ with more compartments to give Valentina & Douglas more room to be apart or together, depending on their moods.

We appreciate our new Patreon followers and for those of you who keep supporting SARA animals monthly. We are playing catchup over the weekend with new stories and updates on previous stories like Valentina & Douglas. 




Shelbi & Madison


DOG VLOG: Carlos Gains from April 9 -16

On April 15, Carlos had surgery to amputate his infected toe. Tracy said he was very enthusiastic about getting into the car. He is stronger and in better health. He is now recovering with more antibiotics, pain meds and everyone is keeping a close eye on him.   

Carlos has only been at SARA for two weeks and he is barely recognizable as the same dog. The very first picture on April 1 was taken later in the day/evening and Carlos looks almost gray. All the other pictures are in the sunlight. We did have some people ask if that was really the same dog!

Sanctuary life, sunshine, good food, good meds have really helped Carlos turn this all around health-wise. We’ve asked for donations to cover his vet bills on our social media channels, plus Cuddly and by email newsletter. So far, Carlos has received $744 online through the Help Carlos campaign. And almost $700 from other payment platforms mentioned in the email newsletter and our website.

We are very grateful that SARA animals have such great and caring fans to step up when one of our animals needs emergency help. Thanks for your monthly dedication which helps SARA support animals like Carlos who is soooooo much better and will still need heartworm treatments in the coming weeks.

DOG VLOG: Carlos Gains for April 1-8

Carlos is EATING! Carlos came to SARA April 1,  just in time for his dire situation. Carlos has a large fan base of rescuers all over the world who have done their darndest to save him and get him out of the shelter before he was euthanized. Mission accomplished!

Recent shelter photo of Carlos (used to be Chief) shared in the rescuers’ network.

Carlos is now putting on weight at SARA Sanctuary. He is eating and in just a few days has started filling out. Founder Tracy got him to SARA’s vet team first thing. They think he will bounce back. He has a horribly infected toe which will be removed. We didn’t add that picture. 

The good news is that he will not lose his whole paw which was reported earlier in the rescuers’ network. His toe surgery is set for April 15. He is on strong antibiotics and special food to help him gain. It’s working. 

Tracy is very happy he is eating and gaining quickly while at the sanctuary and he should be OK. He will need to get stronger before he starts heart worm treatment.

Shelter life definitely had a hold on him. We don’t know too much about his background. He just turned 5 years old. He went into the shelter at a healthy weight, but stopped eating and was said to be stressed about being in a kennel and had negative reactions to other dogs. 

Shelter photo when Carlos first entered the shelter.

We’re adding this story about Carlos to This website supports the more harsh, tragic cases with funds for vet care, surgery and expensive food and supplies.

The before pictures are tough to see. But Carlos is having a dramatic recovery with unbelievable after pictures. We made a TikTok video to show his improvements from April 1 – 8.

TIK TOK VIDEO: Watch Carlos’s transformation in just 1 week at SARA Sanctuary

The most recent photo of a stronger Carlos after 1 week of good food, vet care, medication and some breathing room for Carlos and everyone following his progress.

Lots of animal stories are rolling in about a few new cases at SARA. We appreciate all the support for all of our animals including the permanent residents who are living out their lives at SARA Sanctuary. Thanks for joining us on Patreon.  

PIG TALES: 5 Guys & 1 Pig

Sneak peek about SARA animals...

It was a Good Friday for a pig named Pecan. He was found trotting down the street in Corpus Christi...

To view this content, you must be a member of SARA's Patreon at $1 or more

VIDEO: Shelbi & Madison Adopt 2 SARA Chickens

Food Waste Warriors Shelbi & Madison adopted 2 SARA chickens. These sustainability vloggers are learning and living by doing on their YouTube channel and answering questions about their homestead backyard farm… now with chickens.

Meet Douglas & Valentina (I just want to say ASAP that I did not pick their names… Madison did 😅)

We adopted these two lovely ladies from @sarasanctuaryorg. After we visited late last year I just knew we wanted to help in any way we could. So we became dedicated Patreon members & decided to take home some of the friends who needed a home.

Watch the vlog where we brought them home if you want to see more (for all the Q’s you may have)! Our little sustainable homestead feels like it is becoming it’s own self contained ecosystem and I can’t believe it’s real 🐣🥬💛🌻

Shelbi & Madison are showing how and why chickens can fit within their own goals for zero food waste and starting homestead backyard farming for living a self-sufficient lifestyle. At the same time, SARA was able to adopt out chickens to live out their lives in a caring home.

Because Shelbi & Madison are vlogging about their experiences and including SARA Sanctuary, we have received an immediate boost of 52 new followers! So grateful for the match with, awareness of and understanding about SARA’s mission. 



Shelbi & Madison


Thank you ALL for supporting us on Patreon and being ambassadors and influencers for SARA animals. Join 

SARA DAILY: Spring Faces

Sneak peek about SARA animals...

It’s a Good Friday at SARA Sanctuary. Our donkeys and horses are grazing among the gorgeous Central Texas wild flowers....

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DOG VLOG: Karter & Jacob

Sneak peek about SARA animals...

Dog handler Jason spent some time with Karter & Jacob and made us a video. Let’s check in on our...

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The Divine Ms. Miami: The reason to adopt senior dogs

Elizabeth Naccarato chooses only senior dogs for her home. Beth was a Chicago foster mom for SARA senior dog Miami. Because Miami was so gentle and loving, Beth couldn’t let her go to anyone else and adopted her.

Miami battled cancer for the past two years. Because time with Miami has been short, we asked Beth to write about her senior dog experience and why people should consider adopting senior dogs. Beth and Miami have been generous with their words and photos.

On St. Patrick’s Day Weekend 2019, I agreed to split fostering a dog. Lindsay would take Miami, a senior Lab/Shepard Mix, for the first couple of days and then I would pick Miami up and house her as my second ever foster dog. 

Bringing Miami into our home with Aggie.

Miami came to Chicago from SARA Sanctuary in Texas to be adoptable through One Tail at a Time – an organization I now serve as a board member as well as an adopter, foster, and volunteer (pandemic aside).

Miami with her Texas bandana at SARA Sanctuary

I chose Miami because I had a sweet senior terrier named Aggie who wasn’t up for an energetic pup. I thought she might be a good fit. I told myself there was no way I was adopting because I had a move coming up within the month and I didn’t want a “big” dog. 

When I picked up Miami, she came right over to me tail wagging and a big smile on her face. Compared to my 15 lb. little guy she seemed massive at her (overweight) 72 lbs. She jumped right in my car and was ready to go.

Miami loves riding in the car, it’s her favorite thing.

Within a week I knew she would be hard to let go of. She fit right in like she had always been with us. She gave Aggie the respect and space he needed while still being involved in our day to day. She walked perfectly with him when we went out and scrunched herself up in the backseat of the car to give him room. 

Miami and Aggie cuddling in the car, sometimes she didn’t scrunch. 

She was a little distant for a while, but clearly comfortable with us and so easy going. I couldn’t stand the thought of her being with anyone else and a month later we made it official and adopted her.

Miami & me

Sadly, 6 weeks later Aggie got very sick with a series of upper respiratory infections, pneumonia, and a collapsing trachea. We spent much of the summer trying desperately to help him. Throughout it all, Miami was his protector and best buddy laying close to him on the couch, but not too close and always looking to see where he was on walks.

Miami comforting Aggie while he was sick.

We lost Aggie in August. Then Miami took her place right at my side giving me the comfort I so needed. She would put her head on my leg when we sat on the couch and transformed into a snuggle bug who only had eyes for me. 

Less than 3 weeks later, we discovered Miami had a splenic tumor which can be fatal if not removed. We didn’t hesitate to have it removed and our girl was a champ at surgery and recovery.

She’s such a good dog she never even needed to wear the cone as she didn’t lick her sutures at all. While removing the spleen, our surgeon noticed a tumor on her adrenal gland. We decided to wait to see if the splenic tumor had been cancerous before we decided on a big surgery like removing her adrenal gland with all its complications.

Those senior eyes.

We were overjoyed to learn the splenic tumor wasn’t cancerous and decided to go ahead with the adrenal surgery since she did so well with the spleen removal. She had one adrenal gland, part of her liver, and her gallbladder removed and recovered beautifully again.

Unfortunately, once again, we learned her other adrenal gland also had a tumor. Since removing both adrenal glands is very risky, we decided again on a wait and see approach to see what the tumor would do.

We had the best 8 months in that time going to the dog beach, for all the walks, countless car rides (her favorite) and we fostered 4 dogs. Miami is the most gracious host for fosters. She is the calm, confident guide many dogs need when transitioning from shelter care to a home.  

And for us, through the tragic and untimely deaths of several family and friends, she was there being that calm, loving presence for us too just like she is for other dogs.

After finally buying a house and giving her a yard, she had 2 good months enjoying her new space when she started having trouble breathing. It turns out she had pleural effusion – or fluid around her lungs. After a battery of tests, we learned that she has carcinomatosis and it is fatal. We felt robbed since she battled benign tumors 3 times and for all that we took out she got cancer anyway. But she was still her and had light and love in her eyes and I knew she wasn’t ready.

So, we’ve embarked on a cancer journey with chemo. What was a “weeks” prognosis has turned into more than 2 months. She has more good days than bad days, and she is still my sweet girl who flops her left ear when she is happy and relaxed, runs to the car when I come home, and pleads with her soulful eyes for a bite of whatever I’m eating.

We will keep fighting for her to have more time as long as she’s up for it. She lived most of her life at SARA and at a shelter before that. She deserves a loving home and people to be with her until the end and we are so lucky to give her that. 

She is hands down one of the best dogs I’ve ever had. She has most definitely given me more than I could ever give her. She loves everyone and everything and is happy to just lay near her people and take a car ride to anywhere.

Some may think adopting a senior is hard or sad and while we certainly have been through quite a bit in her almost 2 years with us, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Seniors are happy to just be part of a family and they ask so little in return. Aggie was 7 (ish) when I adopted him and Miami was 10 (ish).

Giving a senior dog a family and a place to call home is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done in my life. For me, knowing they have a home and can finish out their lives surrounded by love is so meaningful. While I didn’t get as much time with Miami as I did with Aggie, it has been a happy 2 years full of lots of head scratches, nice walks, and the sweetest looks ever. 

Senior buddies Miami & Aggie walking together.

Don’t discount the seniors. They have a lot of love and a lot of companionship left to give. I’m pretty sure the next dog I adopt will be a senior too.


It’s impossible not to be wild about Miami. She is definitely one of my greatest loves. She is so generous with her love, so happy and calm.

The techs at her oncologist appointment were gushing about her today. What a big fan club she has. She’s a very special girl and she has brought so much joy to us. I wish I could do more for her. We’ve gotten extra time. She couldn’t walk me more gently to the end than she has. For these last days it’s all about Miami time.

Miami has her own Instagram page @thedivinemsmiami where Beth has been sharing all of their experiences.


We hope Miami’s story will help you consider adopting or sponsoring senior dogs from SARA or our partners in Chicago: One Tail at a Time and Fetching Tails Foundation. SARA works with shelters and rescue organizations to find homes for adoptable Texas-friendly dogs.

Thanks for your monthly support on Patreon. You are helping support SARA’s mission for giving animals an unconditional life.


Easter weekend was Miami’s last. She was 14.5 years old. Miami did some of her favorite things like going on a walk but this time in a wagon. Beth made a tribute on Miami’s Instagram page.

Founder Tracy remembers Miami fondly and said, “She was happy and well-loved here. She lived with a group of older dogs while at SARA and got to go to events like doggy yoga.”

SARA DAILY: First Day of Spring

Sneak peek about SARA animals...

What does the first day of spring look like and feel like at SARA Sanctuary?VIDEOAnimal handler Chloe captured the ducks,...

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DOG VLOG: Bailey’s Backstory

Sneak peek about SARA animals...

Bailey's backstory is told by Edwin Youssef, rescuer for Animals Lebanon in Beirut. Bailey used to be my baby boy....

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Vincent was brought to SARA after he got in an ugly dogfight and bit someone. The former owner is an artist so she named him after Vincent Van Gogh. That’s it. He’s a great dog.

We all know what happens when dogs get labeled as biters. They are put down and are no longer adoptable at shelters. SARA has been a retreat, sanctuary, lifesaver for some of the luckiest dogs in the world. Tracy has taken on some troubled or difficult cases. Often times, it’s one incident, like with Vincent. 

Thanks for your continued monthly support on Patreon which helps take care of animals like Vincent who loves hats and is one of our happiest and luckiest permanent residents.

JOIN US ON PATREON for as little as $2 a month to get early and exclusive access behind the scenes at SARA Sanctuary.