Mack and Robyn founded Sugarland Ranch in 2001 by forming a 501(c)3, non-profit community based company that received permanent status from the Internal Revenue Service in 2005. In the early days, Mastiff rescue operations were being done out of their home. In September, 2004, Mack and Robyn constructed and opened Honey Bear’s Country Kennels, named after one of their beloved Old English Mastiffs, Honey Bear, who passed away in 2007. Mack and Robyn had a plan. They established Honey Bear’s Country Kennels as a for-profit company so that it could be successful in obtaining the necessary financing to construct the building and also provide a steady stream of revenue over the years always with the Mission of Sugarland Ranch in mind. Quite simply, Sugarland Ranch’s Mission is to “…further the human-animal bond”. The bond between humans and animals has always fascinated Mack and Robyn and providing care to people and animals as always been a theme in both of their careers.
Mack has a solid background in juvenile probation, being responsible for transitioning young people back into the community after committing felonies and working in community based programs assisting juveniles and their families to build positive relationships that would prevent further negative behavior. He met Robyn in 1985. Robyn on the other hand was a practicing physical therapist spending over 30 years helping patients from all walks of life. Robyn remains licensed as a physical therapist in California and Nevada and in the past 10 years became specialized in animal physical therapy following her passion for animals. She became one of the first physical therapists to become recognized by the State of Nevada Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners as a bona fide Animal Physical Therapist and continues to mentor other practitioners in this area. She is currently consulting with Veterinary Specialists of Nevada, a specialty veterinary surgical practice located in Reno.
With Mack’s background in behavior and Robyn’s background in physical rehabilitation, together they followed their dreams and passion for animals. While in California, they established and built ground up 5 residential care homes for developmentally disabled which they successfully owned and operated for 6 years in Sonoma County, California. Once they recognized that they had a calling, they searched the western region and decided to relocate to Reno, Nevada where they could pursue Sugarland Ranch. They successfully transitioned their existing business to another provider and still hear from many of the Residents and Staff. That business remains in operation to this day.
Immediately upon arriving in Reno, Robyn remained working in human medicine while she began setting up her animal physical therapy practice while Mack began the business plan for Sugarland Ranch and Honey Bear’s Country Kennels. As the animal related businesses grew, Robyn eventually transitioned out of human therapy. Since 2001, they have successfully assisted with and re-homed over 68 dogs and cats. They have developed working relationships with other rescue groups as well as Washoe County Regional Animal Services and the Nevada Humane Society. In addition to existing Mastiff Rescue operations, they are expanding Sugarland Ranch, with community support, to the following programs:
- A retirement home for senior dogs and cats
- A Military deployment program to assist our military who are deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan with caring for their dogs and cats.
- A perpetual care program for those animals whose Owners pre-decease them.
- A Memorial website dedicated to all of our pets who “are gone too soon”, all of the proceeds going to Sugarland to further its Mission.
Click HERE to find out more information about these programs
They are currently seeking funding to assist with the capital improvements needed to establish these additional programs.
Mack and Robyn first found each other so they could travel together as soul mates and together pursue their passion for animals and finally translate their passion into programs that will remain in perpetuity, long after Mack and Robyn are gone.
Sugarland Ranch recently was joined by Annie Hodge as a new Board member and has had three Volunteers to date. Sugarland Ranch is searching for additional Board and Committee members as well as Volunteers who share the company’s Mission and passion for its programs.