Have you ever visited somewhere you’ve never been before and felt within seconds: this is a good place? Not because of anything you’ve been told, or anything in particular that you’ve seen — but simply because of the atmosphere that exists there, the invisible “vibe” that’s being communicated. And then later, you discover that your perceptions were entirely valid and accurate, that this is indeed a good place, that your feelings were wholly justified, that you’re much sharper than those so-called friends of yours have been telling you all these years.

K9 Ranch is such a place.

When Julie and Ronn were searching for the ideal location to establish their dog-boarding ranch, they came across an animal sanctuary called Haven of the Heart. This refuge, this shelter — whatever you want to call it — had been a focal point of the Palgrave, Ontario region for decades. Some even thought of it as the warm heart of the area. Julie and Ronn felt this warmth the moment they set foot on the property: the positive, friendly atmosphere enveloped them and there was a definite sense of coming home — even though they’d never been there before.

There was also, sensed rather than heard, a welcoming, heartfelt message being conveyed by the rustic buildings, the fields, the hills, the ponds, the trees: Here, animals are loved, cared for, and protected. And it was this unspoken declaration that told them that they’d found the spot where K9 Ranch should be, and that, very likely, it had been fate that led them to it.

Haven of the Heart had been the dream of Ursula Hart, the generous, exceptional woman who had built this property and nurtured it, just as she’d nurtured the animals who sought refuge there over the years. In Julie and Ronn she saw kindred souls and agreed to sell the property to them* — on one condition: that they continue to use it in the original spirit she’d intended, not as an animal shelter or refuge, but as a place where boarded dogs would be protected, and made to feel safe and loved. As she came to know the couple to whom she was selling her home, Ursula’s confidence in their sincerity grew; and even though Haven of the Heart was about to transform into something else, a dog-boarding facility rather than an animal sanctuary, she knew that her lifelong efforts would be respected and honoured in the principles and beliefs at the heart of K9 Ranch.

(*Just in case you were wondering, Ursula Hart’s Haven of the Heart is alive and well, with the sanctuary’s renowned loving care and protection for animals now being provided in a new location: 1219 Concession Rd. 3, Palgrave, Ontario, Canada L0N 1P0. To learn more about this worthwhile, remarkable charity, visit www.havenoftheheart.wordpress.com.)

The Hollywood Connection

How many other dog-boarding facilities do you know of with a Hollywood connection? Chances are, not many. In fact, if there’s a list of such establishments, K9 Ranch deserves a place at the very top….

Back in 2000, when the current millennium was fresh and new and innocent, a movie found its way onto North American television screens — actually “exploded onto” might be a more accurate way of putting it. The film was entitled One True Love and it starred David “The Hoff” Hasselhoff (of Baywatch and Knight Rider fame) as a courageous firefighter who falls in love with a plucky dog-kennel owner, played by Terry Farrell. The kennel owned and operated by Farrell’s character was played by — you guessed it — the K9 Ranch property (then, of course, in its Haven of the Heart incarnation).

Visitors to the ranch are readily shown where “The Hoff” might very well have stood, and trees and trails and buildings that he undoubtedly looked at, ruggedly, are pointed out with pride. There is no charge for this privilege.

Do your best not to get too star-struck as you view the following photos:



We understand that life can get complicated…and you can’t always keep up. One way to deal with some of the complications of life is to have your four-legged responsibilities go on vacation, so you can have a break. K9 Ranch can help here.

Learn More about K9 Wellness Care