Hoarding to Dog Boarding, Our Vision

After buying a property that was owned by convicted dog-hoarders, we started the journey of turning it around to make it into a bright and happy place where dogs can relax and learn. This is a grassroots business built by the hard work and dedication of our family, friends, and community. Our business will be a boarding and training facility for dogs, and a way to put something positive back into our community.  This is a veteran/woman-owned small business.

Our Mission: By building connections we create our family: human to dog, dog to dog, and human to human

Our Goal: To transform a former dog-hoarding situation into a boarding and training facility.

History: Several years ago, in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, a horrible event was brought to light. Fonda and Donald Bell (volunteers at Almost Home Pet Adoption Center in Nelson County, VA) were called to respond to a house-call. They were supposed to pick up several puppies to be re-homed. Upon arrival, they found every horror known to man and beast. Dogs were found on chains, in pens, and locked inside the historic log home. Some were dead, others were maimed, starved, and dying. Dog parts were found in bags hanging in the trees. One dog was found with only three legs (the fourth leg had been hacked off). Fonda and Dave called on the Nelson County Humane Society to help them save the remaining dogs. All of those dogs were rehabilitated and happily rehomed.

The property became well-known in the community as a dark and evil place. When we saw it listed for sale, we decided it would be the absolute only option as a location for our boarding and training facility. Our desire was to turn that darkness into light and make restitution for all the dogs who died horrible deaths on these grounds.

We purchased the property in the autumn of 2012 and immediately started clearing the property. It was severely over-grown and had been used as a trash heap by the former owners. While clearing vegetation and garbage, we uncovered the bodies of 18 more dogs. We can only guess the amount of dogs that died here was well above 30. We laid them to rest under a large tree in the corner. With every discovery of another body, our determination to re-create this property grew stronger.

With the help of friends and family, we have made it this far. We have put a beautiful kennel on the ground where dingy dog pens once stood. We have cleared and fenced acres of land, and we have started re-furbishing the historic cabin which once imprisoned dogs. While doing this, we have also fostered and re-homed almost 30 dogs as well as boarded and trained dogs for friends. It is our deepest desire to finish the kennel building so we can do even more.

Through these connections, our community has grown. Through working on this project, we have made life-long friends. By making friends and connecting them with dogs, we have helped to create families. When you help fund this project, you are not only building a kennel, but a community.

Please visit Blue Ridge Canine Services on Facebook:


Please see the link of the news article that goes along with this story:


To see the progress we made on the property and kennel in the year 2013, check out our "Year in Review" video on YouTube:


If you would like to donate a hands-on project and physically be a part of what we are building, the following projects still need completed:

- Fencing Lower Acreage
- Electrical Service
- Kennel Partitions

The value of these projects will be added into the goal as "offline donations".  

Thank you for your support!  
  • Johanne Gwyn 
    • $150 
    • 34 mos
  • Davis and Pam Drumheller 
    • $500 (Offline)
    • 74 mos
  • Alice Kegley 
    • $250 
    • 75 mos
  • Donald and Fonda Bell 
    • $100 
    • 75 mos
  • Lesley Rowe 
    • $25 
    • 75 mos
See all


Amy Swope 
Adial, VA
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