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The Shannon Foundation is a
501(C)(3) non-profit, tax exempt, charitable organization dedicated to
providing sanctuary for hard to place animals who will be allowed to live
out their lives with dignity in a caring environment.
The Shannon Foundation is a 100 acre farm nestled in a valley 45 minutes
outside St. Louis, Missouri. The farm is fenced and cross fenced with a
large creek flowing through the pastures.
are a few different ways that animals come to live here on the farm.
Shelters/Rescues will often call about animals that have been hard to place
and can't be adopted out, often because of aggression and/or health issues.
Sometimes these animals have been up for adoption for months, or even years,
but because they are a challenge, no one will even look at them.
Another way animals can be placed here is if their owners have passed away,
or are just not able to keep them anymore. We also have animals
who have been rescued and even some who were seized from terrible
However, with an understanding of their backgrounds and dealing with their
health issues, they eventually adjust very well here on the farm. It
takes time and lots of work for them to learn to relax, have fun, and feel
secure, never worrying where their next meals are coming from, or where they
might be moved next. Some of them have never known even these basic
pleasures that, I believe, all animals are entitled to experience.
Consequently, because of numerous past issues, we stay on a very tight
schedule to avoid any anxieties that might resurface. Regarding our dogs.
they all live in a home environment, so we are limited to the number we can
care for at one time.
and Welcome to the Shannon Foundation! My name is Rhonda L. Stephens,
President/Founder of the Shannon Foundation, a retirement farm. We offer
rolling pastures, shelter, enrichment and love for many types of
animals. I wake up every morning knowing I'm doing exactly what I'm
supposed to be doing.
It all started when I was five years old, taking care of my first dog, a
black American Cocker Spaniel. This eventually led to training and
showing a wide variety of dogs in obedience and conformation. The other
love in my life has always been for horses. I think I was born loving
animals. Here I am doing one of my favorite things as a little girl.
I have lived on this farm for over 20 years, beginning when I came to
work for Charles L. Hughes as a farm manager. Charles was a great voice
for all animals, but he especially loved his llamas, and could watch
them in the pasture for hours. We also had zebras, camels, and many
other types of "critters". Unfortunately, he lost his battle with
leukemia in 2001 and left a large void, both emotionally and
financially. It was at this point that I decided to concentrate on the
rescue aspect. It was becoming apparent that so many animals who had
been loved all their lives now had no place to go after losing their
precious owners. There were also many calls from shelters and rescue
organizations pleading to take their abused and handicapped animals.
So, this is the road I am now traveling, trying to support these
wonderful, loving animals, but your help is very much needed! My
dream for the future is as follows: enriching the animals lives by
putting up a Cat Cottage with a large enclosed yard and natural play
area, getting larger play areas for some of the animals, and building an
agility course for the dogs, and secondly, replacing our fencing
which is old and in very bad shape because of recent storm damage.
Hopefully these dreams will come true, but I know it all takes time.
I feel very blessed at this point in my life to be able to give back to
all the animals who have brightened my life throughout the years. It is
very important to me that every animal on this farm always has a clean,
dry place to sleep, good food to eat, clean water to drink, are well
groomed and feel good about themselves. Also, they must always
have kindness and love shown to them. Nothing matches the moment
when they realize their lives are going to be okay and they will no
longer have to worry about being safe.