The Visionary of Great Spirit Animal Sanctuary


Great Spirit Animal Sanctuary, Inc. was founded by Tom Ziebell on April 5, 2017; previously Tom operated Arizona Dog Sanctuary.  A sanctuary that offered assistance to dogs in need of finding a home through foster and volunteer networks, often times connecting the resources.

Founder Tom Ziebell started rescuing animals at a very young age.  Over the years the founder was in the corporate world running some of the top 1% sales organizations for top US Corporations.   Tom has been recognized on numerous occasions for his teams’ successes.   

In early 2015, Tom was diagnosed with some tumors in his colon, after having the surgery, Tom was medically unable to return to work and began his unplanned retirement.   During this time it was a wake-up call for Tom to complete his lifelong vision of creating a safe place for unwanted animals.  With the help of numerous volunteers, donors and sponsors, Tom is able to begin his vision, creating a permanent home for unwanted dogs and horses, giving them a home for life.  Always being an advocate for animals over the years, Tom founded Great Spirit Animal Sanctuary. Its creation was in response for the overwhelming need of a sanctuary to offer a permanent home for the increasing amount of slaughtered bound horses and euthanasia bound dogs.

It was evident by the statistics that a larger scale sanctuary was in need of being created to help the animals.   The sanctuary is being planned and developed on several hundred acres in Northern Arizona, approximately thirty minutes outside of a small town called Snowflake Arizona in Navajo County.

During the initial real estate locating phase the perfect area was discovered.   The property located was a former horse facility that currently has some usable buildings, prime pasture land, and several water sources and stock tanks already located within the property.

Great Spirit Animal Sanctuary, Inc. has negotiated to acquire the needed acreage.  The purpose of this acquisition will be to provide a safe permanent home to hundreds of dogs and horses.   In addition, several other unwanted farm animals can find refuge.  Future growth is also possible with additional acquisitions through neighboring properties.

Great Spirit Animal Sanctuary, Inc. is a 501(c) 3 registered Non-Profit Organization.  All donations to the organization are tax deductible.  Great Spirit Animal Sanctuary operates completely on donations and receives no government subsidies. 

The Sanctuary is being divided into three sections within the property and will be developed over various phases within each section.

Section One, Horse Sanctuary:

·        Dedicated acreage within the Sanctuary

·        Intake holding area for new arrivals, protecting the herd.

·        Older and medical needs section

·        1st phase will permanently save and give a home to 50 horses.

Section Two, Dog Sanctuary:

·        Dedicated dog compounds within the Sanctuary.

·        Dual dog safe zones and socialization and training areas.

·        Medical ward for elderly and dogs in need of medical services

·        Play area that includes course, activity and swimming areas.

·        The sanctuary will have 30 compounds saving hundreds of dogs!

·        Future growth is potential with future acquisitions.

·        1st phase will save 24 dogs for certain euthanasia.


Section Two, Small Animal Sanctuary:

·        Dedicated acreage within the Sanctuary

·        Separate goat, pig and game areas including activity and socializing areas

Great Spirit Animal Sanctuary has created a plan for foster children to come up to the Sanctuary to socialize with the animals.  We believe this educational process will be a win-win situation for the animals and the 14,000+ children in the foster care system, improving the lives of the animals and children in need.

Great Spirit Animal Sanctuary, Inc. overall budget for the project will be $1,500.000 Donations will need to be raised in phases, based on the current project within the proposal.   The first phase of the proposal is completing the land acquisition and initial horse intake center.   The budget is $525,000 to complete this phase of the project.   


There are two major needs and problems that need to be solved.   Dogs and Horses are in an urgent need for someplace to call home.  Long term space is very limited.  Current shelters need available space for newer arrivals.   Dogs and Horses are uniquely different animals, but are facing the same current needs and problems.

Horse Needs/Problems

·        Hundreds of horses need a place to call home during their retirement years.

·        Currently unwanted horses are being sold at kill pens and sent to slaughter.

·        Locating and finding a permanent home is limited.

·        Currently older, untrained and un-rideable horses have difficulty finding a home.

·        Great Spirit Animal Sanctuary has allocated acres to give these horses a permanent home.

Dog Needs/Problems

·        Currently Maricopa County in Arizona has a higher per capita euthanasia rate compared to larger metropolitan cities in the United States.

·        Several dogs waiting for adoption are older, have minor medical conditions, have behavior issues and are unwanted breeds.   Space is needed for newer arrivals and cannot always be utilized for long term.  Maternal dogs have a greater risk of euthanasia due to the care needed for the mother and future litter.

·        Great Spirit Animal Sanctuary has allocated acres to give these dogs a permanent home. 

·        Each compound is designed to permanently house 24 dogs in 12 pods.  Each pod will have climate designed dog housing units. 

·        Each compound will have trees to provide adequate shade.  

·        Each play zone will have activity, socialization and swimming areas.

·        Great Spirit Animal Sanctuary can save hundreds of dogs.

Small Animals needs and problems are similar to the dogs and horses and Great Spirit Animal Sanctuary has dedicated areas within the sanctuary for unwanted goats, pigs, and fowl. 

Great Spirit Animal Sanctuary vision has begun!  Property acquisition has begun; plans are being made to relocate necessary animals to the sanctuary.  Volunteers are in place to care for the animals upon arrival and begin the rehabilitation and rehoming processes.   Our goal is to help some of the animals rehabilitate their behavior issues, so they could be placed for adoption.   Great Spirit Animal Sanctuary also has in place some top veterinarians to provide the proper medical guidance needed for the animals.  We’re planning to work with existing rescues, allowing the rescues to place adoptable dogs into loving homes while Great Spirit Animal Sanctuary offers the unwanted, non-adopted, or non-adoptable a safe home for life.  Our long term vision would to recreate this model in high risk areas.

We hope that you follow our journey, join our email list, volunteer, donate, and sponsor.  Our goal is to make a major impact saving hundreds where needed.