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Where Healing Begins...
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Tofu The Turkey
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Peaceful, Joyful, Compassionate, Fun

At Northwoods Animal Rehabilitation Sanctuary & Adoption Center we provide a safe, fun and loving environment to once abused, neglected and forgotten animals in need of second chances. These animals are extraordinary in that they are survivors, they will to live and to be loved. We pride ourselves in taking the time necessary to get to know each individual animal and provide a stable, healthy home in order for that animal to properly recover. Recovery is not only physical, but it is mental as well as spiritual. The process is not rushed, it is cherished. The bond between that of a horse and it's human is one based on trust and respect, and is not achieved overnight. Our goal is to rebuild that trust through understanding, patience, and consistency in order to provide you the necessary foundation to create a solid relationship between you and your horse.


"Be the change you want to see in the world." &
"The greatness of a nation and it's moral progress can be judged by the way it's animals are treated."
- Mahatma Gandhi


"I believe in Elisa and her beautiful heart.  She'll go to any length to save the life of an animal in danger, sometimes putting herself at risk, because her sense of what is right is so strong.  She has taken in animals that some would say are too damaged, and brought them back to health with love and proper care.  Northwoods Animal Rehabilitation Sanctuary and Adoption Center is a very important asset to the area and we need to help her keep it running for the sake of the rescued animals that are living there now and those who will need her in the future.  My own dog came from her rescue and I know she wouldn't have survived if Elisa hadn't stepped up and taken her from the dangerous situation she was in!" - Denise R.

You guys remember that super sick, sad and swollen head of that turkey that fell off a truck last fall up in northern MN that I met at Northwoods Animal Rehabilitation Sanctuary. Well look at "Tofu" now, he looks amazing, thanks to Elisa for all the TLC and compassion she has shown him. Here they share a tender moment of thanks. If you want to help animals but you can't be hands on, donate. Check out Northwoods Animal Rescue Sanctuary and give a few bucks, you'll feel better having done something selfless today :) -Amber J.
Elisa and Tofu the Turkey. ♥

Thanks for rescuing Tofu, Elisa! Northwoods Animal Rehabilitation Sanctuary is a promising, up-and-coming organization in Minnesota. Friends: if you're local and interested in rescue work, I would recommend getting involved. - Nicholas Coughlin

Northwoods Animal Rehabilitation Sanctuary

Where healing begins...


To bring peace and joy to the lives of those unwanted, neglected or abused. Every life deserves joy and to be loved. Creating a peaceful as well as fun environment for both animals and humans alike. We are not looking to have our rescued animals "used" for any other purpose other than to live out the rest of their lives being loved and respected and as individuals. We have a strict NO BREEDING clause. We create partnerships between animals and humans and the relationship is beneficial for both parties, not just for human enjoyment. Together we can stop the epidemic of abuse and neglect through advocating for stricter laws, harsher penalties, and the benefits for spaying/neutering (gelding) far outweigh the need to breed. Animals are friends, not food...and our favorite breed is "Rescued". Thank you all for your continued support!


Northwoods Animal Rehabilitation Sanctuary & Adoption Center (NARS) is primarily an equine care facility, (however we do care for a variety of animals in need), whose mission is to bring awareness of the plight of the rescued animal through hands-on education in general animal care and gentle horsemanship. Treating each animal as an individual, with compassion and respect.

General Information

Visitation and surrenders are by appointment only. We cannot accept walk-ins as the health and safety of our residents is our top priority.

For volunteer opportunities please contact us via email at or call 612.886.6986.

Equine & Animal Veterinary Services;
Anoka Equine Veterinary Services

Siete Leguas Equine Veterinary Services

All Pets Veterinary Hospital & Equine Svc.

University of Minnesota Equine Center

Cleary Lake Veterinary Hospital

Rescue/Rehab/Training Partners;

Gemini Rottweiler & Pitbull Rescue, Inc.
A Minnesota 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization
Witchtree Training Center
A Minnesota 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization

In Cooperation With &
Support of;
MNSnap (Low Cost Spay/Neuter Services)
The Humane Society of the United States

The Minnesota Horse Council

Animal Humane Society

The Minnesota Hooved Animal
Rescue Foundation.

Northwoods Humane Society of Minnesota

Midwest Avian Adoption & Rescue Svcs, Inc.


Here is a very helpful link should you be concerned about Toxic and Non-toxic Plants for Horses, Cats and Dogs.

The question I get asked most is...

"How can I help?"

(Please also click on the DONATE SPONSOR VOLUNTEER link on our menu for additional information
on the many ways you can help.)

One of the best ways is to just tell everyone you know about NARS and tell them to become a fan of our Northwoods Animal Rescue Sanctuary Facebook Page. The more people that are aware the better. Because the more people that know there is help out there for equine and farm animals the less suffering is allowed to happen.

Wouldn't it be nice to live in a world where all children and animals were wanted and could be cared for? Instead many are simply forgotten, abandoned, neglected and abused. I would love to see a world where these awful humane cases did not exist and to not have over population due to irresponsible breeding. It is our mission to care, to help and to educate spread the word!

It's much less costly to geld, neuter and spay than it is to care for the unwanted animal and it's unwanted offspring. And when I say costly, I am not just referring to money spent. Overpopulation & neglect cause disease, birth defects, heart ache, pain, suffering and death. The cost is extremely high for both human and animal alike-and the truth of the matter is that
it can be prevented.

Go to our menu and click on Low Cost Spay/Neuter Programs for more information on where to get your pet neutered. Please also check out our MN Gelding Project link. We would love it if you would support our Spay/Neuter/Gelding Fund. Click on the donate button below and indicate that you would like your donation to be applied directly to the Spay/Neuter/Geld Fund and 100% of your donation will go directly to making sure the animals in our care are given quality veterinarian care, are vaccinated, spayed, neutered and gelded and cannot be adopted until they in fact have been properly vetted and neutered.

Thank you.

Elisa Soper-Thomas

Check out The Minnesota Horse Council at for more information about The Gelding Project.


To Brandy with Love

One cold winter day an acquaintance told me of my friend in need.
I had to come up with a plan to help her and execute it with speed.
It did not look good, her days were truly numbered.
Without my help she would not see another spring, let alone another summer.
They claimed nothing could be done, her faith was sealed.
I tried many plans, and requested for her an appeal.
I first met Brandy when I was only seven.
We fell in love at first sight, a match that we felt was made in heaven.
We spent many hours together walking through the forest trails of trees.
We helped each other put our problems at ease.
We went through every lesson trying as a team.
And always tried to forgive each other for occasional days when one of us acted mean.
Five years have gone by since the first day we met.
And I would spend everyday I could with her from sunrise to sunset.
They said she was just too old, too crazy, too tired and too broken.
But in my heart I knew the truth about her wasn't spoken.
I went to her to tell her I would help her fight.
Not to give up because our love for each other would make things right.
You see she is a great and I am the girl who cared.
I purchased her and stopped her slaughter with just two days to spare.

Jayka Heierling
July - 1998