Leander animal rescue temporarily closes after storms caused damage

Williamson County

LEANDER, Texas (KXAN) — An animal rescue organization in Leander is temporarily closing after gusty winds from Wednesday’s storms caused damage there. 

David Griner and his family run the Safe in Austin Rescue Ranch, where they allow children to interact with dozens of animals with special needs. 

“[The animals] are disadvantaged. They have various disabilities. They’re sick. They’re old,” Griner said. “It’s one of the missions of the nonprofit to act as a sanctuary for animals like that.” 

Because of the condition of the animals, Griner worried most about them when heavy downpours and strong winds blew through Wednesday. However, the animals fared much better than several trees and tents located throughout the wooded property. 

“A lot of what we’re using was tents, which work fine most of the time,” Griner said, “but not on a day like that.” 

The winds destroyed at least three tents, including one that covered hay bales. A cedar tree was also uprooted while cattle stood under it for shelter during the storm. All the animals, though, are okay. 

“We had everything staked down with t-posts and under trees, protected as well as we could,” Griner said, “but obviously not well enough for a storm like that.” 

The group put up these tents until it had enough money to build a barn to protect the animals, so now resources meant for that larger project will have to go toward replacing what was destroyed.

“We’ll have to either buy something to replace that or try to come up with a different solution,” Griner said, “because this is probably not the last thunderstorm that we’re going to have this year.”

The Safe in Austin Rescue Ranch is taking a temporary break from allowing children’s groups from visiting until the proper repairs are made. 

The group is currently accepting donations through its website

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