Friday Standing Ovation, Presented by Ovation Riding: Russell Refuge

After a tragic kennel fire on Dec. 6 in which 13 dogs perished, a New York Jack Russell rescue needs our help.

Each Friday Horse Nation teams up with Ovation Riding to spotlight an individual or organization that is doing good work in the horse world, but this week is a little different.

The organization we’re saluting this week, the Russell Refuge, isn’t equine-related — although Jack Russell terriers are a favorite breed for many horse lovers. Located in Rhinebeck, New York, the Russell Refuge provides temporary shelter to Jack Russell Terrier dogs and Jack Russell Terrier puppies in the northeastern United States who are no longer wanted or have been placed in public shelters.

It was founded over 20 years ago by Dale Mountan, a breed enthusiast who realized her calling was in starting a rescue. She built a kennel at the farm she shares with her husband, an equine veterinarian, and began taking in Jack Russells from New York kill shelters. The Russell Refuge typically houses between 40 and 50 dogs at any given time and, over the years, Dale and her team have rehabbed placed more than 1,000 dogs in loving, forever homes.

On Dec. 6, tragedy struck at the Russell Refuge. A fire, suspected to be electrical, started in the kennels.

unnamedMuch of the kennel was devastated.


While Dale and her team were able to save 17 dogs, 13 others perished. A firefighter told Dale that the dogs who died were found curled up in their beds. A memorial page for those lost has been set up here, among them…


Buddy B. “He was one of my favorites,” Dale says. “Loved to ride in the car and visit the PO on our daily rounds. He always had a smile on his face.”


Little Jack, whom Dale describes as “a joyful little dog.”


Blind Hope, a Russell Refuge favorite who was rescued after being found wandering the streets of Yonkers in winter cold. “She was a perfect dog,” Dale recalls. “No one wanted her due to her blindness. They missed a great dog.”

Dale is committed to rebuilding the kennel in their memory of the dogs lost, but she needs monetary donations to help keep the Russell Refuge moving forward. Can you help? Tax-deductible donations, both one-time and sponsorships, can be made online or by check payable to Russell Refuge, Inc. and sent to:

Russell Refuge, Inc.
PO Box 725
Rhinebeck, NY 12572

Visit the website for a wishlist of items needed by the Refuge (toys, canned food, etc.) as well as listings of dogs available for adoption. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for updates as well.

We applaud the Russell Refuge for the good work they do and we encourage readers to consider aiding the rescue in their time of need.

Go Russell Refuge. Go Riding.

Many thanks thanks to Ovation Riding for their support of both Horse Nation and individuals and organizations that are doing good work in the horse world. If you know someone who deserves a Standing Ovation, we would love to recognize them in a future post. Email the name of the person or organization along with a message about the good work they do to [email protected]. Photos/videos are always welcome, and include a link to their website if applicable.



Leave a Comment


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *