On six acres in western Loxahatchee, Elizabeth Accomando operates Barky Pines Animal Rescue & Sanctuary together with her husband Steve, and daughter Mary Montanaro. The group received its nonprofit status in 2015, although they’ve been rescuing all kinds of animals for the last 20 years.
“We take in dogs, cats, chickens, ducks, ferrets, turkeys, tortoises, cows, pigs… everything except horses, and that’s only because of the expense. Most come from Palm Beach County Animal Care & Control, and we take them, so they are not euthanized,” Elizabeth explained. “The small dogs have their own building, and the larger dogs are in a different building. The chickens are in coops. The cows roam the entire property.”
Although small, Barky Pines has rescued hundreds of animals.
“We do fundraisers and are always looking for sponsors,” Elizabeth said. “Our for-profit business is a mobile auto body repair, but all the leftover money from that goes to the animals. We also apply for and receive grants, but we are always, constantly on the hunt for funding. Right now, we need more housing to save more lives.”
Elizabeth and her family take care of all the animals themselves.
“We’re in the trenches, not just sitting on a board. Once an animal is rehabilitated, we find it a home,” she said. “We do screenings on our potential adopters, but the geriatric dogs generally stay here for sanctuary, and we hospice them and care for them until it’s time for them to move on. We also find family companions for families with special needs. Some dogs go on to become comfort dogs after we have taken our time to make them that type of pet.”
The work is difficult but rewarding. “It’s a lot of work for no money, but getting them better, healing them — especially the ones that we can adopt out — it brings such joy, not only to the dog or cat, but also to the family,” Elizabeth said. “Making that match, completing their family; now that animal gets love in a home of its own.”
Once an animal is adopted out, Elizabeth stays in touch with the family through social media.
“It’s our Barky Family, as we call it,” she said. “We love hearing all the stories and about the joy and happiness that the animals are bringing to the families.” Learn more about Barky Pines at www.barkypinesanimalrescue.com.