Animal Guardian Network, a Cave Creek-based animal healing center, is relocating to Camp Verde. According to Animal Guardian Network founder and executive director Carrie Singer, the organization has purchased an approximately 22-acre river-accessible property off North Arena Del Loma.
In existence as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit since 2009, Animal Guardian Network will be offering specialized and hospice care to disabled and senior animals.
Singer’s use permit application to the Town of Camp Verde has been reviewed and approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission. On Tuesday, Dec. 6, Town Council will vote to approve the use permit.
From that point, Singer hopes to relocate operations within four months.
“I took a leap of faith and devoted my life to this sanctuary,” Singer said of her transition from a traditional professional role into the nonprofit world. “The best way I can describe what we do is we are the equivalent of a senior care living facility for animals. We provide 24/7 around-the-clock specialized care including nutritional, medical protocols and enrichment for our residents.”
Animal Guardian Network receives requests from all variety of animal owners: Individuals, shelters and other sanctuaries. Singer evaluates each request based on the animal’s needs, determining if the specialized care she offers will be of benefit to the creature.
According to Singer, few other facilities are able to accommodate animals with health conditions Animal Guardian Network specializes in. Case in point: One of Animal Guardian Network’s permanent residents, Moose, is a police horse formerly of the Tempe Police Department.
Following an injury, Moose became “100 percent neurological,” unable to recognize where his feet are at any given moment. At 15 hands tall, his care requires patience, expertise and resources.
Singer added that at Animal Guardian Network. Moose and other disabled and senior farm animals get a shot at second life helping others.
Singer operates a healing workshop with large animals such as horses, as well as other human-animal interaction opportunities.
“Animals are amazing healers,” Singer said. Animal Guardian Network will also house a relocated Healing Heart Chapel, where people can come to grieve the loss of a pet. According to Singer, the chapel is one of only two pet chapels in the U.S. Singer chose to relocate in Camp Verde for a variety of reasons, including “more space and enrichment” opportunities for Animal Guardian Network’s animals; a “cooler, more diverse topography;” and the smaller community.
“I feel like we can give them a lot more by moving there,” Singer said. “We’d like to give more to smaller community — a demographic that will be a little more enlightened .... and provide a little more enriching lifestyle, all around.”
On the property, Singer intends to build a canine care center and three different barns.
“We’re doing all metal buildings, which go up fast,” Singer said, adding that Animal Guardian Network’s approach embraces holistic, sustainable and nonpolluting practices. “We create habitats that are most natural for what their needs are [and] there hasn’t been a chemical used on that property in 40 years.”
Eventually, Singer hopes to hire three or four people to help out, but for now she is focused on the transition. Singer praised the town, particularly Community Development Director Carmen Howard, for its support and encouragement:
“They have been terrific people to work with. They really rallied for us .... It just reaffirmed our decision to choose Camp Verde.
“In Cave Creek, there just isn’t that small-town feel. This has been so refreshing.”
For more information about Animal Guardian Network, visit animalguardian network.org.