Minions at Last Chance Ranch?!?!

We all know and love the “Minions”, those fictional characters that appear in the Despicable Me franchise, but did you know that Last Chance Ranch (LCR) has their own “Minions”?

The fondly called “Minions” are teenagers that are current lesson students at LCR.  They came to Marie’s rescue one Saturday when she did not have an assistant and back-to-back lessons were scheduled all day!  Marie manages the horseback riding lesson program at LCR.  Check out our last blog to meet the amazing horses who are part of her lesson program.

Since that day, the minions help Marie get the lesson horses to/from the fields, get them ready for lessons, give birthday party pony rides (which are temporarily discontinued due to COVID) and assist with summer camp activities.  They also school (this means to exercise/train) some of the adoptable horses.  Even when there is not a lot to do, they will still hang around the barn after school, ready to assist with any project or horse that needs attention.

Why do the minions volunteer and love to be part of this special group?

Here are a few of their responses and pictures of them in action!

“I enjoy coming to LCR, learning about new horses and their abilities as this teaches me how to become a better rider with experiencing all the new/different situations.”

“I love being a minion as it has given me a good start to working with horses!”

“I love working with all the animals and have learned so much here!”







There is also a small group of adult volunteers who dedicate a couple of hours each week to help Marie work with the adoptable horses.  When someone wants to volunteer to ride, they have an evaluation ride on one of the lesson horses, so their abilities can best be matched to the appropriate horse(s).  Marie wants the volunteer riders to feel safe and never wants them to work with a horse that they are uncomfortable with.  It is not always riding that needs to be done, as some days, certain horses need to be groomed and lunged, or assistance is needed with an adoption appointment, etc.

Without volunteers, Marie would not be able to accomplish all the things that need to be done with the horses and the lesson program.  As with all the volunteers at Last Chance Ranch, they are very appreciated!  LCR could not be what we are today without our volunteers and friends!

Posted:  April 6, 2021, by Jill Roggio

Meet the lesson horses at Last Chance Ranch!

Marie Koder manages the horseback riding lesson program at Last Chance Ranch.  Her program is English based, with an emphasis towards Dressage.  All the students have the option to ride in an English or Western saddle, so they get to choose what makes them most comfortable.  Since Last Chance Ranch is a rescue facility and not considered show-oriented, lessons are geared towards giving students a solid foundation in all the basics including how to groom and tack/untack a horse.  Students can apply these essentials to any riding discipline, advancing to a show-oriented barn or getting their own horse.

The lesson program runs 5 days a week, Tuesdays through Saturdays with a varied schedule.  The program has grown vastly over the years and ranges from first-time beginner riders to students who have adopted an equine and want to sharpen their skills.

Part of our mission at Last Chance Ranch is to rehabilitate and train adoptable equines and we are lucky to have some great stars in our lesson program!

Cobalt                                  Cobalt and Triple

Cobalt is a 23-year-old Pony of the Americas who was found running around the streets of Philadelphia with another pony. He has been a part of the program for the past 5 years. He is super sweet, who takes care of his riders while making them work hard.  He teaches all the little kids how to ride as he can be quite lazy!  He has many nicknames, but the one you will hear him called the most is “Coco”.  Cobalt has done it all- birthday parties, dressage shows, cross country schooling, parades and has participated in our open houses.  He is a very brave steed and not much phases him other than the noises from people popping bubbles while chewing gum and using clippers.


Triple                                  Triple and Frosted


Triple Sec, fondly called Triple, he is a 20-year-old Arabian gelding who was an owner surrender. He has been in our program for the past 9 years!  He will happily tote around beginners of all ages and then will pick up the pace and jump a course with more advanced riders.  Even though Triple is perfect to ride, he does have some quirks!  He can be spooky, especially when ridden on the trails.  Plastic bags and paper are super scary to him no matter how much desensitization work we have done.


Finn                                    Finn and Cobalt

Finnegan, fondly called Finn, is a beefy Percheron/Standardbred cross who is the biggest horse in the program. Despite his large size, he is athletic! He has started going to some dressage shows this past year and loves all the action/attention he gets at the shows.  Finn is only 10 years old, and we got him from auction in 2017. He has one of the best personalities and is like a puppy dog!  He will put just about anything in his mouth and is always game to try new foods.  He loves different foods like watermelon, banana, Doritos, pop tarts, etc.





Frosted came to our program in April 2019 as an owner surrender. He has turned out to be a fun lesson horse, who is used from beginners of all ages through advanced riders.  His favorite things are jumping and going for trail rides!  Frosted is a very sweet horse who is always looking for attention.  He has joined Finn with attending dressage shows and hopefully will be able to go to more this year!



Cinnamon is a new addition to our program.  Cinnamon was obtained from auction in December 2020. She came to us very underweight, and quite shut down. She would not take any treats or grain by hand or a bucket and did not want to be caught in the field.  After giving her time to settle in and realize that things were not going to be bad here, she has slowly started to come out of her shell, and we are seeing just how sweet of a horse she is!  Cinnamon has a calm demeanor and is enjoying the attention from all her students.  She has learned that treats are a good thing, and her favorite is carrots!  A fun fact about Cinnamon is that she has a cool lace pattern along the top of her backend and as she gets older, it is supposed to get bigger.  Cinnamon does have a lip tattoo, and by the order of the numbers/letter, she was a racing Quarter Horse who is 12 years old.


Brisk is the newest addition to the program and the youngest at only 7 years old. He is a cute pony that came from the Amish and was the kid’s pony.  He has a fantastic personality and is always the first one over to us in the field.  He craves attention and is happy to do anything we ask of him. He is still getting into shape for the program, but he will make his debut soon!


Have you ever dreamed of learning how to ride a horse?  Whatever your age, it is never too early or too late to start!  Contact us today to sign up for a lesson:

Posted:  February 25, 2021, by Jill Roggio

A dog will never talk you out of going for a walk!

Are you sticking with your New Year’s Exercise resolution?

If you are and want to stay committed, we have a partner for you!

Dogs make great exercise partners because they just want to spend time with you.  Think about it!  People make up all kinds of excuses not to exercise, but dogs are always ready to go.  Dogs don’t care if it’s raining.  Dogs don’t care if it is cold.  Dogs don’t have a meeting or another obligation.

If you commit to a daily walk, your dog will start to expect it and look forward to it (which will also help to keep you on track!).  Having a dog as an exercise companion is simply………. Rewarding!

Check out some of our featured dogs that would make great exercise buddies:

Carl was bought as a Christmas gift in 2019, and his owners decided in 2020 they no longer wanted him. They unfortunately did not do a lot of training with him or even spend a lot of time with him, but despite his “ruff” start in life he is a friendly boy who is looking for a home with the time and patience to finish up his training and give him tons of mental and physical stimulation.  He is an active, strong, and smart boy from his mix of breeds and we are so saddened that his previous home never spent the time with him to give him proper outlets! He would NOT be good in a home with small dogs, cats, or young children (under 14). He would benefit from a fenced yard or a VERY active home!

Libby is a chunk Bull Terrier mix that is 5-6 months old and weighs just over 30 pounds. She is a young pup who does not know her size and needs a home that has the time, patience, and ability to finish up all of her much-needed training needs! She is a little rough and tumble with her playing and will need a dog that likes to play like she does! She can be very mouthy, and until she learns what is appropriate playing, she will not be good in a home with children under 12 years old. She is a loving puppy that just needs some finishing touches and a family that will do that for her!

Beefcake truly lives up to his name! This 80-pound goofy dog is affectionate, sweet, friendly, and playful! He is a BIG boy and he is very strong on leash and will need a refresher course on basic obedience but he does know how to sit, give paw, and to lay down! He is good with other dogs but definitely needs another big strong buddy to play with. He is even good with cats! We think he would be best with children 12 years and older just due to his sheer size! His is going to need someone to help him finish up some basic obedience training to help him be the best dog he can be! He would benefit from some structure and rules as well.

There is so much you can do with your dog!  Walking, hiking, running, throwing and fetching a ball or Frisbee, rollerblading and swimming.  If you are starting to feel bored with your normal route or type of activity, change it up by trying a new path, or a longer walk.  Explore dog-friendly trails in the mountains, by a lake or at the beach.   Try out some dog parks.   Don’t be afraid to get your “paws” wet and go for a swim!

Please remember:  Like humans, you’ll want to slowly start an exercise plan with your dog.  Consult with your veterinarian before you start, that way you can set attainable and sustainable activity goals for your pet.  You may want to start with a short walk or hike, and then begin to increase the length and challenge as you and your dog gets accustomed to the exercise routine.  As your vet will tell you, for dogs with joint problems or osteoarthritis tendencies, it’s much healthier to undertake activities like swimming, paced hiking or walking, over high-intensity exercises like running.

We can’t say it enough!  Having a dog as an exercise companion is simply…… rewarding.

If you are interested in adopting any of our animals please fill out an application on our website

Posted:  January 26, 2021, by Jill Roggio

Happy Pet Friendly Holidays!

The holidays are going to look a lot different this year.  Just because this 2020 holiday season will be far from normal, many of us still want to make it meaningful with delicious traditional foods and decorations!

As most pet lovers will agree, our furry family members are a part of every memory we make, so below are reminders on how to keep them healthy and safe during holiday celebrations!

It may be tempting to offer your pet the same delicious food you are preparing and enjoying but doing so may cause severe problems for your furry friend.

Did you know the following foods are unsafe?

Onions and Garlic – can be lethal to pets   Onions and garlic cause destruction of red blood cells in dogs and cats, potentially leading to anemia.

Fat trimmings from meat and bones – they can be dangerous to pets as the fat trimmings from meat can cause pancreatitis and bones can be choked on or actually splinter and cause obstructions in the digestive system.

Cookies – raw dough can cause gastrointestinal issues.  Chocolate, raisins and nuts (especially macadamia) can cause vomiting, diarrhea as well as increased heart rate, tremors and seizures.

Artificial sweeteners are incredibly toxic to dogs, particularly Xylitol.

Additional foods on the “do not feed” list include coffee, avocado, grapes, raisins, spices and alcoholic beverages as they are poisonous.

If you pet has eaten any of these foods and is displaying any of the symptoms described, please consult your vet or an animal poison control center like ASPCA – immediately for assistance.

In addition, be careful with holiday decorations and plants as they may be attractive but could pose a risk.

Securely anchor your Christmas tree as cats may want to climb!  Our feline friends also like nibbling on tinsel, ribbons and wires which could lead to an electrical shock or intestinal damage if any of them are swallowed.

Take care with poinsettias, lilies, holly and mistletoe as they can cause pets to suffer nausea, vomiting and diarrhea if the leaves are ingested.

Do not leave lighted candles unattended or within reach of your furry friend to avoid singed whiskers and burnt tails.

Keep breakable ornaments out of paws reach to avoid breakage and injuries.

Happy Pet Friendly Holidays from your LCR friends!!


Posted:  December 18, 2020, by Jill Roggio

$21,268 Raised on Giving Tuesday!

We cannot thank you enough! We set a goal of $12,000 with the help of two matching donors, Rebecca Rynkiewicz and Von Thun Farm. We reached our goal by 4pm, looked up what we made in 2019 ($15,097) and increased our goal to $15,098! So many donations came in during the evening and our grand total at midnight was $21,268!

Still interested in helping?  Please donate through the platform below:


How did Giving Tuesday start?

Giving Tuesday, often referred to as #GivingTuesday for the purposes of hashtag activism, began a few years ago in 2012 in New York City.  It was developed as a way to respond towards the consumerism that is Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  It was devised to give back rather than spend money on useless items because they are at a good price. #GivingTuesday has really caught on and has raised millions of dollars in just one day.

In its inaugural year in 2012, it is recorded that Blackbaud (the main giving service used) raised over $10 million. That is not even counting other giving sites. Over the next few years different sites and foundations have become more and more involved in #GivingTuesday.  Facebook became involved in 2016, while the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation became involved in 2017.  Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation would match $2 million in donations, and Facebook waived its 5% fee for US based non-profits. How great is that?!

Keep in mind that Blackbaud and Facebook are not the only ways to give. World organizations such as Google, Microsoft, UNICEF and others participate in #GivingTuesday.  Local organizations participate as well.

NOW interested in participating in #Giving Tuesday?  Please help us with animals in need and donate through the platform below:


Posted:  November 30, 2020, by Jill Roggio

Look At That Face (part 2)!

Considering a potbellied pig?  Here are some more pig points to sway you.

  • They love to be petted, especially on their bellies and many will happily cuddle with their owners.
  • They are very trainable.  They can learn to walk on a leash, sit and perform some tricks.  If you keep them inside, they can be trained to go in a litter box. Outside, they usually use the same bathroom spot.
  • Potbellied pig owners need to set rules and boundaries for an overall great relationship.  Consistently praise positive behaviors and redirect bad behaviors.  Patience and repetition (as with any pet) are the key to producing a well-mannered pig that has a great relationship with its family.
  • A potbellied pigs intelligence means it will be bored and potentially destructive when it doesn’t have enough social interaction and activities.   They also have an innate desire to root (use their snouts to search)!  They may knock over objects in your home or tear up your yard looking for food.  Hiding food in treat puzzles or outside where you don’t mind them rooting, will help satisfy this behavior.
  • Outside in the winter, they need adequate shelter and love to snuggle in blankets, rugs or straw.

Here are some of our potbellied stars with their new families!

Overall, potbellied pigs adore having a pig partner but they also enjoy other animals.  In fact, due to their social nature, keeping multiple pigs together is often better than having just one.

We leave you with one last thought…. Winston Churchill is quoted as saying “I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us.  Cats look down at us.  Pigs treat us as equals.”

We love our pigs and hope you will too!


Posted:  November 27, 2020, by Jill Roggio

New Arrivals!

Covid has been affecting all of us in some way and sadly, some families have had to surrender their animals.  We recently had horses and barnyard animals arrive at LCR.

Duke – 12-year-old painted Draft Horse Gelding 

Holly 20 year-old Quarter Horse Mare

Peaches -10-year-old Haflinger Mare – Peaches had to spend some time at the New Bolton Veterinary Center since she was pregnant and lost her foal.


These three beautiful horses arrived from our rescue partner, Pennsylvania SPCA.  They are currently at their equine capacity due to several humane seizures and have seen an increase of horses this fall, most likely due to Covid 19 and the difficulties owners are having keeping their animals.  Luckily all of these horses are on the mend now and will be evaluated and placed available for adoption.  In addition, various barn animals have been surrendered during the past few weeks.




Three pot-belly pigs, two alpacas, one cow, two donkeys and a baby goat!   They came from five separate homes which were all impacted financially by Covid-19. We are also making arrangements to bring in a few more goats and sheep soon.

There are so many ways to save animals.  If you cannot adopt one, please go to our donate page where you can find ways to help.  Thank you!

Posted:  November 19, 2020, by Jill Roggio

Look At That Face!

Adopting any animal is a life time commitment and a potbellied pig is no different.  Here are some important PIG POINTS when considering them as a pet!

  • They can grow to be 80-250 pounds and live 15-20 years!  They need adequate space to roam and root.  They love to walk around and explore, lay in the sun, root and dig holes looking for food.
  • Instead of always feeding them in a bowl, you can spread food around their pen and they can root for it.  There is special feed pellet for potbellied pigs and understanding their nutritional needs is extremely important because they can tend to become obese fairly quickly.   A low calorie -high fiber diet consisting of 1-2% of their body weight in dry feed is appropriate.  They also love a variety of non-starchy vegetables and fruit scraps.
  • They can be vocal!  If you are looking for a quiet pet, a pig isn’t it.
  • Potbellied pigs are fun, curious, have great temperaments and enjoy being with people.  They are very smart and curious and you need to plan to keep them entertained.

Here are some of our potbellied stars with their new families!


Potbellied Pigs have also been referred to as Pot Belly Pig, Vietnamese Potbellied Pigs, Miniature Pet Pigs, Micro-mini Pigs and Tea Cup Pigs

Now you know some fun pig points.  Stay tuned for some more in part 2 of “Look at That Face!”




Posted:  November 11, 2020, by Jill Roggio

Barnyard birds Are A Blast!

Why do we like barnyard birds?  Eggs, eggs, and more eggs!  But barnyard birds also bring an element of fun to any farm, barnyard or back yard. They can be easy to care for and very entertaining.  They are very vocal, always enthusiastic to see you, and have the ability to put an instant smile on your face as they waddle up to you to greet you!

As with any pet or animal, there are major considerations to consider including cost, feeding needs, appropriate housing, health care, lifespan and even local ordinances, but here are a few fun facts about barnyard birds and pictures of our LCR friends!

Did you know?

Chickens:  They are unarguably the most well-known barnyard bird and entry to farm life.  They are easy to raise and love to scratch, eat bugs and take dust baths.  If you let them free range, they put themselves to bed each night and will go into their coop to roost when the sun goes down.

Ducks:  Have you ever watched a duck waddle and have them quack at you?  They are hysterical!  They love water and are easy to keep as long as you have a feed pan or swimming pool with water deep enough to dip their faces in and keep their nostrils clean.  Did you know you can herd ducks?  Simply walk behind them slowly with your arms spread wide and you can direct them right into their pen or house at night where they will be protected from predators.


Geese:   They are very social and have delightful personalities.  If raised the right way, they will become friends for life.  They are inexpensive to care for as their favorite food is grass.  Their feathers and down make great craft items too!

Guinea Hens: They do not have the most attractive faces but make excellent watchdogs sounding the alarm when visitors approach.  They are full time bug catchers and love those annoying ticks. They are colorful, curious and fun to watch.

Turkeys:  They are very friendly, social, quirky and clumsy as they may trip over items or walk into other animals.  They can usually be housed with chickens and other livestock and when free ranging, they don’t roam too far.  Just remember, they will fly!

Peafowl:  They are a colorful exotic species and can live 15-20 years.  Technically the male is called a peacock and the female is a peahen.  The real value of these ornamental birds lies in their beauty.  They love to roam but will not stray too far and like to roost high at night in trees.

Emus:  If you want some size in your barnyard flock, why not an emu?  They are the second largest bird in the world.  They are flightless but love to jump, run and climb fences.  Unlike chickens and other poultry, the male emu is the nurturer and will incubate and brood their young.  Emu eggs are sought for egg art as their eggs are blue-green and average close to one pound in weight.

Loud and Proud!  We love our barnyard birds.  There are so many different breeds of each barnyard bird to consider, so you may want to conduct lots of research if you want to raise barnyard birds for a specific reason.


More LCR “behind the scenes” coming soon!

Posted:  September 14, 2020, by Jill Roggio

Sheep on the run!

Animal shelters play a vital role in our communities and most of the work is done quietly and without fanfare.  Not only does LCR take in animals that need to be surrendered, but they also help reunite pets with their owners, even sheep!  Here is “Sellie’s” runaway rescue story!

The phone is ringing five minutes before close.  On the other end of the line is a police officer requesting “Three Farmers and a lasso.”  A sheep was on the run in Sellersville and the police needed assistance. Without hesitation, our LCR executive director and an intern hopped into a truck and headed out to help.  Luckily, the sheep was guided into a storage shed at the Sellersville Theater while they were on their way.  By the time the team got there, the female Jacob’s sheep dubbed “Sellie” was ready to hop on the trailer and head to the farm.  The team got her settled at LCR for the night and removed some twigs and debris from her wool.  In the morning, the concerned owner called LCR.  It turns out that “Sellie” was new to the farm and accidentally escaped.  She ended up traveling several miles through town until she was finally cornered!

Reunited!   Keep an eye out for more animal fun!


Posted:  September 1, 2020, by Jill Roggio

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