Posted: Feb 12, 2015 10:58 PM GST
Updated: Feb 12, 2015 11:00 PM GST
LOGAN COUNTY, Oklahoma – In Oklahoma there is no shortage of animals and, fortunately, no shortage of animal lovers.
Rita Shepherd is definitely one of them and has taken in a lot of animals over the years. In fact, she now refers to her home as ‘Shepherd’s Farm, but these aren’t just any animals, and she’s not just any shepherd.
“We grow love here,” Shepherd is humble, but she is easily proof of how a shepherd can tend to more than a flock of sheep.
There’s her donkey “Fletcher” who gives her kisses.
“Give me kisses, you know you are my sunshine,” she tells Fletcher as she pets his nose.
Two llamas, Seadog and Teddy.
“Teddy has an extreme under bite. So I have to actually put carrots into his mouth,” she said.
Really, if you show Shepherd an animal with a special need she will want to take it in. At her home in Logan County, she also cares for cats with brain damage, a half a dozen birds, and a couple of very special dogs.
“I guess, I kind of like the ones that need something special,” said Shepherd.
In fact, the most recent addition fell into her lap.
“She is special needs…she is actually blind,” a representative from the Central Oklahoma Humane Society said during a television interview with News9.
Shepherd just so happened to be watching that interview during News 9’s Pet of the Week segment last Friday. She said she couldn’t resist the chance to adopt a blind Great Pyrenees puppy — she’s since named Elle.
“I had something to offer to her, ya know, someone else would have to learn with her,” Shepherd explained she has cared for a dog with disabilities before.
Her late St. Bernard, Hannah was also blind.
“I’d learned a lot of tricks with Hannah, ya know, with putting the pledge on the door jambs and a little air freshener and stuff on the back of the furniture, so she knows when she’s coming to things,” she said.
Shepherd also picked up some toys special for blind dogs and from all outward appearances Elle is adjusting well to her new home.
“I love you, yes I do,” Shepherd said while cuddling Elle.
She’s pleased with her decision to bring Elle home and is encouraging others to also adopt from the Oklahoma Central Humane Society.