Rescue Farm Helps Unite Animals and Children with Special Needs: They're 'An Example of Total Forgiveness and Trust'

“Safe in Austin” is like many rescues in some ways. They have a full roster of feathered and furred residents from a variety of troubled backgrounds.

Once animals get to the rescue, they’re loved, fed and cared for — sometimes for the first time in their lives. But instead of simply living out their lives in comfort, they have a very important job to do.

Their stories help others heal.

It all started — as these things often do — with a single animal and a simple, but incredibly meaningful, lesson.

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Jamie Wallace Griner and her family run the rescue. One of her own children has autism, and when they saw the magic between him and his dog, they knew they had to find more of that and share it.

“Our story starts with a dog appropriately named Angel,” the “About” page on their Facebook page reads. “She was our son’s Autism Service dog, and she changed his entire world.”

“We have always loved animals, but when Angel joined our family it became insanely clear how the love of an animal can be literally miraculous! Angel gave my son confidence and strength beyond anything I was capable of doing as his mother.

“She provided protection from his fears, a gentle understanding of his moods and emotions, and gave him a feeling of control over his disabilities. Angel opened our eyes to the healing power of animals and animal-assisted therapy. We will never be able to repay her for helping shape my baby into the high functioning boy he is today, but we can help others experience the same healing power of the innate bond between people and animals.”

So they got a property in Leander, located in the Austin metro area, and the animals started to find them.

“We have dogs that have been abused beyond your wildest imagination, but are an example of total forgiveness and trust,” she said, according to SunnySkyz.

“We have giant pigs that were saved from the slaughter truck, and love nothing more than to roll over for belly rubs or snout kisses! And we always have precious baby goats running around waiting for a hug.”

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They have such a variety of animals from such different backgrounds that they can offer an animal counterpart for many of the ailments or past abuse visiting children have experienced, helping child and animal forge a deep bond that needs no words.

“The child whose legs have never worked quite right experiences instant joy when he meets a dog who has a wheelchair just like him.

“A child with a history of horrific abuse who picks up a rescued puppy and tells him he knows it will be okay because he also has cigarette burn scars on his body but he is better now and learning to be happy.”

“A child that spent the first decade of her life surviving horrible abuse and neglect only to end up in foster care and starting all over again with a new family finds an understanding friend in a Macaw that is afraid of people because of his ten years in a drug house.”

It’s safe to say there’s never a dull moment at “Safe in Austin,” and they’re hard at work to bring their motto to life: “Saving lives, and healing hearts – Rescue animals, rescuing children.”

Though their outreach has changed a bit in the last few months, you can always follow them online through their Facebook page and see the heartwarming work they’re doing.

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking