Sanctuary Open For Animals And People

Volunteer Opens Ranch To Anyone Who Needs Help

East of Castle Rock there is a beautiful ranch that is considered a sanctuary. It is a place where animals and people help one another work toward a better life.

7Everyday Hero Diane Benedict's Dreampower Ranch is home to something called PAALS.

"It stands for People And Animals Living Synergistically," said Benedict.

That means taking in homeless people and animals.

"We have got chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, goats, cats and dogs, a pot-bellied pig, lots of horses and a mule named Sophie," said Benedict.

Benedict started PAALS 18 years ago because she had 160-acres of land and a heart for helping others.

"It is called responsibility. You can't walk out on your children," said Benedict.

Even if those "children" are people Benedict has never met, they come here to live, work and rebuild their lives.

"It is a blessing, it is an answer to my prayers when I knew I was going to loose my home. I got to keep my dogs," said resident Amy Smallwood.

Benedict's passion has moved others to help.

Mary Harris owns feed stores in Kiowa and Elizabeth. She often donates food for the animals.

Pam Grier is a successful actress who is willing to roll up her sleeves and help whenever she is not in Hollywood.

"Diane does what people have been thinking about doing, and she does it. And she has been doing it with her own resources and donations for over 18 years. I wish I had the passion and heart and energy to do what she does, but she teaches me," said Grier.

To Benedict, the idea of taking in others is nothing special; she feels it is something that needs to happen more often.

"You look around and see the suffering and you have got to do something. And I was lucky enough to be able to do something about it," said Grier.

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