Even though it doesn’t physically exist yet, Jameson Rescue Ranch is saving lives.

Recently, Monica and David Stevens, owners of 750 Wines in St. Helena, heard about Annie, a 9-year-old Chihuahua, who was destined to be euthanized when her owner died. Although their nonprofit status for Jameson Rescue Ranch is not expected to be official until sometime this fall, many volunteers are already on board, and when they put the word out about Annie’s fate, a foster home was found.

“We’re not waiting. We’ve got 10 foster families lined up as well as Pope Valley veterinarian Sally Kimsey and On the Spot pet grooming, to name a few,” Monica Stevens said of their growing network of resources.

The Stevens’ vision is to provide a no kill rescue and sanctuary for companion and farm animals in Napa Valley. The ranch is to be named after Jameson, a 160-pound Great Pyrenees Monica rescued in Chicago and lived to be 14 years old.

“We’ve put the word out and we really feel it’s going to come through,” she said. “The goal (for us) is to be a communications network for everyone. I’m talking to everybody. All are going to benefit by being able to use the Ranch for temporary fostering, and a sanctuary.”

The mission of Jameson Ranch is not only to help animals, but other nonprofits that help animals as well.

That cooperation has already started.

Stevens has extended an invitation to Wine Country Animal Lovers (WCAL), based in Calistoga, to use the foster homes she is working with. She has also been dialoging extensively with Sunrise Horse Rescue, has reached out to WeCareAnimalRescue in St. Helena and hopes to have a close relationship with Napa Humane’s Spay/Neuter program, and Whiskers, Tails and Ferals, also in Napa. The vision also calls for the ranch to support education with onsite animal husbandry education for local schools.

“It will make a huge difference in continuing to raise awareness of animals in need and to help each other,” said Lisa O’Connor, Sunrise Horse Rescue board president. “It will raise the bar for people who want to help and provide a better place for animals.”

Meanwhile, WCAL is acting as Steven’s temporary umbrella organization so that they can collect donations that are tax deductible until their nonprofit application is processed.

“We have set up a separate account for donations received on behalf of Jameson Ranch and are happy to help out. Animal rescue is all about collaboration and working together — or it should be — because that is how we succeed,” WCAL board vice president Alissa McNair wrote in an email.

Pam Ingalls, WCAL board president, agrees that a big piece of animal rescue is to partner with other nonprofits. WCAL also partners with Petaluma Animal Services, Sonoma Humane Society as well as Calistoga Cat Action Team run by Kristen Casey, to care for and spay and neuter feral cats in the area to keep that population healthy and well managed.

While WCAL does not have an actual facility, they are in partnership with the Calistoga Pet Clinic, where rescues and strays are housed. Although they have had nonprofit status for a number of years, they have become much more active in the last 18 months, rescuing strays and helping people financially, who don’t have the resources for medical care for their pets. They also built a dog park, provide education and adoption at the Calistoga Farmers Market, and in 2013 they adopted out approximately 75 pets.

“We’re small, but we’re a full blown shelter and rescue, with a capacity for about 18 animals,” Ingalls said.

WeCare has also recently begun to refer people to WCAL, after McNair toured the sanctuary and the two organizations shared information.

We Care Animal Rescue is a cage-free, no-kill sanctuary for over 250 animals in St. Helena. Although their facility is full, they network and try to find an alternative for animals they can’t take in, as they receive 20 – 30 calls a week from people who need a place for an animal.

“We take in animals that no one else wants. A no kill sanctuary is very rare,” said Carley Gill at WeCare. “There are so many animals in need, it will be great to have more space (at Jameson Ranch). Anything helps.”

Stevens said the desire to rescue animal has been with her all her life. At the end of last year, she concretely started doing research on how to make that a reality.

“We were needing to express ourselves in a different way than just selling high-end wines, to compliment that work with something to give back to the community,” she said, adding it helps that they are connected to the wine industry. “Unlike the other entities, we’re tapped into the wine business so all that energy and support is behind us.”

Ingalls agreed.

“Monica is very passionate, she’s got a lot of energy and she’s going to make something really good happen for animals and expand on the work that’s already been done. A sanctuary is valuable and crucial for animals who have quality of life but don’t have a home.”

The Stevenses are currently looking for the help of a Napa County landowner who will gift all or a portion of a large property for use by the ranch, or will lease long term under generous terms. For more information call 963-0750 or email monica@jamesonrescueranch.com

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