Real Ohio Tours

OAA’s new interactive program for animal lovers

Real Ohio Tours is a new initiative in which OAA invites its members and the public to tour animal sanctuaries across Ohio. The purpose of Real Ohio Tours is to experience first hand how animal sanctuaries operate and learn about the missions they promote. Real Ohio Tours is also a platform in which animal sanctuaries can connect and learn from one another. These visits allow animal lovers to come together and bond over all different kinds of animals!

We will be scheduling tours on a monthly basis, and you will have the option to RSVP to the sanctuary visit. If you cannot make it, we will also be conducting virtual tours of the sanctuaries and posting them on our website. The tours are restricted to children 10 years old and over, but children must be accompanied by one adult each for safety reasons. There will also be a waiver emailed out after you submit your sign-up; which must be sent back electronically or brought in-person to the tour.

Watch our compilation of the 2022 Real Ohio Tours and Butternut Wildcat Sanctuary Founder Rick Armstrong receiving the first annual OAA Sanctuary of the Year Award here.

If you are an animal sanctuary and would like to be a part of the Real Ohio Tours program, you can contact us at

Current Tours

October 14, 2023: Glen Helen Raptor Center

Virtual Tour Coming Soon

Key Issue: Raptor Rehabilitation

The Glen Helen Raptor Center is a legacy from an Antioch College alumnus named Hugh Taylor Birch, who in 1929, gifted the wooded glen in memory of his daughter, Helen. Since then, Glen Helen has been through many changes and many struggles to keep its pristine condition. The preserve currently has 1,125 acres that includes a 15-mile network of footpaths. Glen has become the largest, and most visited private nature reserves in the Miami Valley, anchoring the most scenic and ecologically intact area in Southwest Ohio. During a short walk, visitors can view spectacular wildflowers, 400-year-old trees, limestone cliffs with waterfalls and overhangs, and the beautiful yellow spring for which the town is named. The Glen Helen Raptor Center operates the area’s only raptor rehabilitation center.  The goal of wildlife rehabilitation is to release healthy individuals back to the wild. Glen is able to do that with nearly half of the approximately 200 birds admitted each year, giving them a second chance at life in the wild.

Past Tours

September 23, 2023: Sunrise Sanctuary

2023 Sunrise Sanctuary Virtual Tour

Key Issue: Caring for Neglected and Abused Farm Animals

Sunrise Sanctuary is a non-profit organization that has been providing a loving and permanent shelter for over 170 formerly abused, neglected, disabled, or unwanted farm and companion animals for over 20 years. At Sunrise, the animals are family and their needs come first. Sunrise Sanctuary is run by an all-volunteer staff, and would not exist without the dedication of all of their volunteers, corporate friends, donors and supporters. They currently provide a loving home to a variety of special beings, including pocket pets, companion animals, farm animals, and birds and fowl. 

July 15, 2023: Walking Wild

2023 Walking Wild Virtual Tour

Key Issue: Ending Fur Farms

Molly and David Schulz, owners and operators, began their journey with Maugrim, a wolf-dog, and two rescued foxes, Banjo and Fiddle. They have since developed the largest fox rescue and wolf-dog sanctuary in the United States with a sprawling 40,000 square foot environment for the animals. Walking Wild not only saves lives by providing a home to captive-bred foxes and wolf-dogs, they also save lives through providing education and facts about adopting and living with such animals, since many are surrendered by families who adopted them as pets. Their mission is to reduce the number of unwanted, neglected and abandoned animals and thus the need to rehabilitate and rehome them. They consider it such an amazing honor and privilege to spend every day working to save lives, pouring love into the animals that call Walking Wild home and helping to inspire the world to not only love these amazing animals, but come alongside us in giving each life a voice.

June 24, 2023: Butternut Farms Wildcat Sanctuary

2023 Butternut Farms Virtual Tour

Key Issue: Caring for Big Cats

Rick Armstrong has always loved animals and has been caring for big cats and other exotic (and not so exotic) animals for many, many years. He recently lost Snowflake, an albino squirrel, who lived wild, but came to see Rick for treats and love. Rick works 24/7/365 with his beloved animals, brought to him mostly by people who thought they could have a big cat as a pet. He is able to do this only through volunteers and donations.

June 3, 2023: Homeless to Home Animal Rescue and Cat Sanctuary

Key Issue: Preventing suffering and homelessness for animals

Homeless To Home is a non-profit organization, funded solely by donations and committed to the welfare and protection of all animals. Not every situation where animals find themselves in need of another home is a result of callous treatment. Many people have found themselves in desperate circumstances and simply can no longer provide for beloved pets.

Homeless To Home receives these animals, recognizing that when animals are turned away, it rarely ends well for them. H2H strives to offer a safe place and solutions to help them stay in their homes when possible. Recognizing that the only answer to overpopulation, cruelty and neglect is to Spay and Neuter, we are passionate in our quest to educate, guide and assist pet owners to ensure that each animal we help does not contribute to homelessness and suffering.

April 15th, 2023: Last Chance Corral

2023 Last Chance Corral Virtual Tour

Key Issue: Saving Foals from the Horse Breeding Industry

When thoroughbred horses are bred in the racing industry, oftentimes the mares are transported to be bred again, but the foals are kept stable and nurtured by a nurse mare. However, the mare had to become pregnant to nurse this thoroughbred foal. What happens to the unpedigreed foal? This is where Last Chance steps in to save foals that would have been otherwise orphaned. 150-200 orphan nurse mare foals cross through the barn doors every year beginning in January and going through June. When healthy and ready, many foals and horses are available for adoption. Over 20 years of experience in rescuing, caring for and re-homing of orphan foals, has earned Last Chance Corral much respect. Victoria Goss and her team are often called upon for advice from veterinarians, breeders and others experiencing the pit falls of orphan care. You can learn more about this issue here.

October 15, 2022: Walking Wild Fox and Wolf Dog Sanctuary

2022 Walking Wild Virtual Tour

Bonus: Foxes on the Runway

Key Issue: Ending Fur Farms

Founders Molly and David Shulz are dedicated to rescuing foxes from fur farms. At fur farms, foxes are kept in cages only a few feet wide and tall and starved until they are ready to be pelted. When breeder foxes are no longer useful, they are disposed. At Walking Wild, Molly and David reach out to fur farms across the country to take in foxes that are in these situations. When the foxes get to Walking Wild, their lives change. They are given plenty of dry food, raw chicken, treats, and enrichment time. Additionally, they live in a sprawling barn enclosure full of playground sets for them to run around on. The people at Walking Wild believe that fur farms need to end and that foxes deserve to live their natural, playful lives as much as possible.

September 24, 2022: Hospets

2022 Hospets Virtual Tour

Key Issue: Aiding Senior Citizens in Caring for Their Pets

Hospets is an organization that assists low-income senior citizen pet owners by helping in transporting pets to grooming or veterinary visits, helping find new homes if necessary, aiding with pet food, medication, and more. Hospets focuses on keeping seniors and their pets together, as well as as strengthening the human-animal bond that can bring emotional and physical health benefits.

September 24, 2022: Sunrise Sanctuary

2022 Sunrise Sanctuary Virtual Tour

Key Issue: Caring for Neglected and Abused Farm Animals

Sunrise Sanctuary, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that rescues and cares for farmed and companion animals who were abandoned, abused, or neglected. Sunrise Sanctuary encourages more humane and compassionate behaviors and believe that each living creature has value and deserves to live free of suffering and exploitation. They provide shelter for over 170 unwanted farm and companion animals. Sunrise Sanctuary is home to several cows, dogs, cats, rats, bunnies, pigs, sheep, llamas, fowl, horses, and donkeys!

August 2022: Moonshot Farms

2022 Moonshot Farm Virtual Tour

Key Issue: Caring for Neglected and Abused Farm Animals

Moonshot Farms is an animal sanctuary and rescue committed to rehoming animals of abuse, neglect, or hoarding cases throughout Ohio and giving them the care they need. Moonshot wants to provide people with an opportunity to cultivate relationships with traditionally farmed animals: pigs, cattle, chickens, sheep, goats, and donkeys.

July 2022: Butternut Wildcat Farms and Sanctuary

2022 Butternut Farms Virtual Tour

Key Issue: Caring for Big Cats

Founder and operator Rick Armstrong has dedicated his entire life to caring for animals. He started at a young age by rehabbing hawks, and through his life he has worked with bears, tigers, bobcats, as well as domestic cats. Armstrong is a firm believer that big cats are not meant to be pets! The wildcats at Butternut have been rescued from people who think they can handle a big cat or have been abused in the past. Armstrong has a real connection with his big cats and they often live up to twenty years old in his loving care.

June 2022: Good Sprout Rescue and Sanctuary

2022 Good Sprout Virtual Tour

Key Issue: Ending Animal Exploitation

Founder Audrey Quillan works with sanctuaries around her to take in chickens, roosters, ducks, lambs, and even a peacock. Her farm is a fully vegan operation, and she even feeds the chickens’ eggs back to them. Quillan and Good Sprout believe in ending animal exploitation and factory farming.


Micro-sanctuaries (20 animals or less) start when a family decides to turn their property into a space that can prevent animals from being used as commodities and give them lives of care. Most micro-sanctuaries are backyard animal sanctuary spaces for animals that are victims of factory farming and exploitation.  While some micro-sanctuaries start out as such and grow bigger, many micro sanctuaries purposely stay small to give the best possible care and attention to their residents. Creating more micro-sanctuaries has the potential to be more impactful than larger sanctuaries. Typically, micro-sanctuaries are home to “non-companion animals”, such as pigs, lambs, chickens, ducks, bats, and more. Check out OAA’s guide to starting a microsanctuary if you have the space and desire to help animals in need.