Tracy Frank’s journey with SARA is a testament to compassion and resilience in animal welfare.


By Isabel Neumann. Photos by Mia Olea Garza Photography

Tracy Frank, the founder of Society for Animal Rescue and Adoption (SARA), has dedicated much of her life to the welfare of animals. SARA began as a response to Frank’s compassionate nature and the overwhelming number of animals that found their way into her life. “I used to be a teacher, special education. On my way to work, I would find dogs and cats,” Frank explains. “Then, all the other teachers began to leave their little pets that they didn’t want anymore with me.”

Frank found herself caring for an ever-growing number of animals. Juggling the responsibilities of teaching and the commitment to providing a loving home for abandoned creatures. The turning point came when she stumbled upon a magazine from nonprofit Best Friends Animal Society, sparking an epiphany. “It was like that proverbial light going off above your head moment—an epiphany,” Frank recalls. This revelation led her to quit teaching and officially establish her nonprofit organization, SARA, with the help of Best Friends Animal Society. “This wasn’t something I set out to do. But once I realized it was something I actually could do, I knew I wanted to do it,” says Frank.

The assortment of animals at SARA is as diverse as it is extensive. From dogs and alpacas to potbelly pigs, the sanctuary is a haven for animals of all kinds. “We have over 300 pigs, and a lot of those are feral pigs,” she says.

In addition to the wild inhabitants, SARA takes in domestic pets discarded by owners. “Constantly people are trying to get rid of their dogs and cats, I mean every day,” she explains. The organization actively seeks solutions for abandoned animals, working with rescue partners, fostering programs and adoption initiatives. The sanctuary, located on what was formerly a 600-acre family cattle ranch (now covering 110 acres), became the heart of SARA. Over the years, the sanctuary evolved from a humble barn to a more comfortable and functional living space for both humans and animals, allowing for Frank and other staff to live amongst the animals on the property.

SARA actively seeks community engagement and volunteer support to further its mission. “We need more foster people,” expresses Frank, emphasizing the critical role they play in caring for the animals. “[We] encourage people to volunteer and join the SARA community.”


The animals roam freely on the expansive property, creating a unique and harmonious living environment. A constant human presence in the sanctuary not only enhances the well-being of the animals. It is also a precaution against potential danger.

From providing homes for hundreds of animals in danger of being abandoned to offering free spaying and neutering services for community animals, SARA continually contributes to Central Texas’ animal welfare. “We take in hundreds of animals every year that would otherwise not have a place to go,” Frank explains. The sanctuary also engages in adoption events, using social media, newsletters and partnerships with rescue organizations to find suitable homes for animals.

Tracy Frank’s journey with SARA exemplifies the profound impact one person’s compassion can have on the lives of countless animals. The sanctuary continues to evolve, facing challenges with resilience and unwavering dedication. As SARA moves forward, Frank envisions a future where animals are not merely regarded as property but as sentient beings deserving of love, care and respect. She insists that “it starts with proving you can pay for the animal you’re adopting. Our adoption fee is $200 to ensure that.”

Running a sanctuary of this scale requires significant financial resources. SARA operates entirely reliant on donations. “We need financial support in order to care for these animals and, hopefully, build an indoor shelter for them,” says Frank. This is in order to sustain the sanctuary’s operations and fulfill its mission to help as many animals as possible regardless of species, special health needs or temperament.

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