Dog Sanctuary Provides Pet Adoption Options | Beautiful Together Animal Sanctuary

Beautiful Together Dog Sanctuary Provides Pet Adoption Options

Animal Innovations Show - Episode 59 - Beautiful Together Animal Sanctuary

Dog Sanctuary Provides Pet Adoption Options | Beautiful Together Animal Sanctuary

So, you’re looking to adopt a pet?

Beautiful Together Animal Sanctuary is a nonprofit that may be able to provide you with pet adoption options.

Co-founded in 2014, the nonprofit rescues at-risk animals from shelters and inhumane conditions by finding homes that would love them.

According to Tamara Lackey, Executive Director of the Beautiful Together Animal Sanctuary,

“We’re kind of just trying to do the combination of pull as many animals out of shelters as we can as a foster-based rescue and build the sanctuary…”

Beautiful Together Animal Sanctuary, Envisioned

Beautiful Together Dog Sanctuary Provides Pet Adoption Options

Headquartered in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the nonprofit originally focused on supporting children waiting for families.

In fact, part of its mission is to create programs for children in crisis. To this end, they initially did numerous projects both in the U.S. and overseas.

Eventually, however, Tamara and her team learned that animals, with the therapeutic connection they provide, were vital in their nonprofit work.

Because of this, they started earnestly rescuing animals as of January 2021.

“The fostering and rescue work really ramped up, and seeing that connection (with dogs and how they help teenagers manage mental health crisis) really made a difference… So, we thought, ‘What if we have a homebase for Beautiful Together?’ And it could connect this significant need, as it relates to animal welfare in North Carolina with the children who really benefit from spending time with animals,”

Tamara said.

Beautiful Together Dog Sanctuary Provides Pet Adoption Options

Even the organization’s website states its goal: “connect the vulnerable and the voiceless in purposeful ways that benefit us all”.

Beautiful Together Animal Sanctuary on Providing Safe Refuge for Animals in Need

Tamara also observed that most of the shelters they work with are overworked, underfunded, and understaffed. This encouraged her to include pets as part of their focus.

“They’re just kind of begging people to help because they don’t want negative endings for these animals. And so, myself and our rescue and a whole bunch of other rescues here are doing everything they can. But, it’s hard because the influx is so significant. There’s such a large number of animals coming into these shelters, and there’s a capacity issue.”

This then gave them the idea of helping animals get into foster homes.

Beautiful Together Dog Sanctuary Provides Pet Adoption Options

They later turned to the concept of a sanctuary as a stop-gap. This way, they can still move the needle even when they’re in need of getting more people to help.

A photographer by profession, Tamara’s work has also been instrumental in showcasing a lot of the work they do and getting more support.

Tamara remarked,

“We’re very fortunate to partner with best friends who were just so great in terms of their ability to open up their resources. They gave us a lot of the kind of blueprint for how they’re doing it, which was so helpful for us and helped us skip a big step.”

At the moment, the goal of Beautiful Together Animal Sanctuary is to have its therapeutic programming in place for children coming onto the property. Tamara and her colleagues are thinking of doing this by way of community education.



Learn more about Beautiful Together Animal Sanctuary!

Visit their website at

Have suggestions for who we should interview next?

Send us a message at [email protected]!


Hi, I’m Tamara Lackey, and welcome to The Animal Innovations Show.


Excellent introduction. So, tell us who you are and how you’re innovating and helping animals.


I am the Executive Director of The Beautiful Together Animal Sanctuary, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and we’ve been a nonprofit since 2015.

But this year, as in January of 2021, we started our rescue operations in earnest. And we’re kind of just trying to do the combination of, pull as many animals out of shelters as we can as a foster-based rescue, and build the sanctuary so we can have another way— to be able to— kind of meet those deadlines.

North Carolina is a very high kill state, unfortunately. So, try to kind of work with the deadlines that a lot of shelters have. And also build up our youth programming, where we’re going to be bringing children in through the sanctuary, and kind of having this really great connection, between animals in need of refuge, and children who are living in stressful times.


How do you envision this working? Is that— you know, 50 dogs— I’m just curious as to the capacity that you’re initially thinking.


Basically, as much as we can do— in the timeline, we can do it. So, we’ll probably be developing the first 10 acres only. And in that way, we’ll have a large structure for dogs.

We have another one for cats. We’re going to start with horse and donkey rescue. So, in terms of the count, it’s going to be like: Until we fill up, and obviously you can no longer do that. Then we’ll build another one.

That’s kind of— the tact we’re taking.

Chris: So, what’s the vision, where do you take this? Where 5 years from now, when you and I are talking again, what’s it going to look like?

Tamara: The goal would be to have our therapeutic programming in place, for children coming onto the property.

We want to do a lot in the way of community education. I mentioned that the main issue with shelters here is this influx. It’s just a steady amount of animals being surrendered, or strayed— found in strays. And so the symptom, of course, we’re trying to treat, in terms of pulling the animals out and finding them homes.

But the problem is: How do you educate people around things like pet behavior?

So, within 5 years, we want to be able to have— actually within— this is one of our short-term thing.

So within 6 months, we want to have operations on the ground, where we’re doing free community dog training. One of my key partners, who is the director of dog rescue, is also a certified trainer. She’s got several friends who volunteered, and— that’s one of the big things you hear again and again.

You know— “We can’t handle this dog.”

“Our house is too small for this dog.”

“I don’t have time for this dog.”

And most of that goes back to just— training. It’s a positive behavior training. So, that’s one of the big things we want to do.

Another one, of course, is— the amount of animals who are surrendered involuntarily. We want, “A People and Pets In Crisis” initiative. So, a program where animals can come in for 2 or 3 months, whatever it’s going to be, we will try to get those animals sponsored their care. And the goal is to say, “We’ve got you, we’ll care for your animals.” That they don’t need to go into a shelter, and then suddenly be on a hold that after X amount of time, they may be— you know, it might be “it” for them. So, they can come here and then you can come visit as much as you want.

You can— kind of just have it where it’s this stop-gap for them, where it doesn’t have to be this terrible ending. And most people can move through a crisis like that. They don’t need to lose their beloved pet in the meantime. So, that’s one of the other things we want to do, and have really established within that time frame.


Yeah. It sounds like you’ve got a really big vision, for how this can have just a significant impact, to be an important resource within the community.

Because you’ve talked about these things need to be temporary, right? You’re not trying to provide that forever home— you know, forever for some of these animals, but hopefully as a transition.


Yeah, that’s the hope. I mean, there’s going to be times where— there’s just such a behaviorly challenged animal that can’t be in a home, and there’s going to be times with that—this will be their permanent home. That’s not the goal, but it is a safety net. Chris: What have you learned about yourself in the journey? Tamara: Well, I certainly have learned my capacity issues, and I’ve certainly learned the sheer amount of things I do not know. I used to think I knew more than I clearly do. There’s just like every layer that we uncover. I’m like, I don’t even know how to get started on that. That’s the new thing to me. And I feel like that’s happening every single day, like every single day. Chris: This is so fascinating to see your journey, and you’re at the midpoint, maybe of your journey of where you’re gonna go. I’m curious. Is there anything else you want to mention today before we wrap things up? Tamara: You know, I’m probably every person that you know who’s doing rescue, we would love as much help as we can get. We need fosters. We need volunteers. We need any sort of way to get the word out to get more people to help. And of course, we always want more adopters. It’s going to be very hard to do this at the scale we want to do it, without community support. And sometimes the community can be a lot wider than just your state. Chris: Tell people where they can find you guys, I mean, website how to get a hold of you, all of those things. Tamara: Yeah, so, you can go to BEAUTIFULTOGETHERSANCTUARY.COM that’s the website. Chris: As we bring things to a close today, I’ll just remind our viewers and listeners that if you’ve got a big vision, like Tamara does, or an innovation, or know somebody that does, let us know about it, go to INNOVATIONS.SHOW and we’ll get them on the show and talk to them. Thank you again, Tamara. It was so nice to talk to you. Tamara: Thank you. I really appreciate it.

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