Community service day held at Heartland Rescue Ranch

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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Heartland Rescue Ranch takes in abandoned and neglected animals and helps to rehabilitate and re-home those animals.

Team members from FEMA Corps began volunteering at Heartland Rescue Ranch in Panama City after Hurricane Michael. They fell in love with the non-profit and decided to host a community service day to help out with the recovery process.

Amy Shepherd, founder of Heartland Rescue Ranch, said, "This is something actually that Americorps came to us and asked us to host and we thought it'd be a great idea, we thought a couple months ago that we had seen the worst of the storm, unfortunately it continues to get worse."

Since the hurricane, Heartland Rescue Ranch has seen a huge increase in the number of abandoned animals.

"We did sustain about $100,000 worth of damage to the shelter, however we've taken in close to 1,000 animals since the storm," said Shepherd.

Although they have been struggling to accommodate those animals, they never turn one away.

"There's definitely a huge need, even bigger than it was before," said Shepherd.

The rescue welcomes any and all animals from pigs and dogs to even sheep. Americorps wants to help educate the community about Heartland Rescue Ranch's dedication to animals.

Marna Moore, Media Representative for Pine 5 of FEMA Corps, said "They're such a great asset to the community that we wanted to make sure that the wider community really knows about Heartland and what they do."

This event was a way to help the many abandoned animals find their fur-ever home.