In season six of Queer Eye, the famous Fab Five met up with the founder of Safe in Austin rescue ranch, Jamie Wallace-Griner.
What Is Safe in Austin Rescue Ranch?
The ranch is based in Leander, Texas and provides a safe space for 18 different species of animals with special needs like diabetes, injuries, or cerebral palsy, or those who have been neglected or abused. According to their website, they “rehabilitate and rehome the ones that are able and offer a forever home to those who have suffered enough already.”
With all the care and selfless support she was giving to others, Wallace-Griner was having trouble prioritizing her own self-care. That’s why in season six of Netflix’s Queer Eye, the Fab Five stepped in to help her upgrade her life.
Comprised of interior designer Bobby Berk, food and wine specialist Antoni Porowski, fashion designer Tan France, grooming consultant Jonathan Van Ness and culture expert Karamo Brown, the Fab Five have become famous for giving people lifestyle makeovers when they’re most in need of support. The Queer Eye reboot launched in 2018, more than a decade after the original series, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, went off the air.
The Fab 5 Built a Brand-New Barn for Safe in Austin
When the Fab Five intervened in Wallace-Griner’s life, the Safe in Austin ranch owner says she was “incredibly thankful” for their help and generosity. In the episode, interior design expert Bobby Berk builds Wallace-Griner a brand-new barn to help house the 60 special needs animals she cares for. Her flock of animals include chickens, cows, rabbits, cats and dogs, goats and sheep, ponies, pigs and horses she brought inside her home during the winter storm of 2021.
Wallace-Griner’s mother and husband originally nominated her to appear on the show, knowing that she would gladly give away one of her own kidneys to provide better care for the animals. Thankfully, her selflessness paid off, and she became the Queer Eye hero for episode 7 of the show’s sixth season.
New Barn Is the Biggest Build Queer Eye Has Ever Done
Wallace-Griner’s episode saw “the biggest build Queer Eye has ever done.” In an Instagram post, the Safe in Austin ranch owner noted that she was “pretty sure I will get the award for the most blubbering by a Queer Eye Hero in the history of ever.”
Since the episode has wrapped, Wallace-Griner also built an addition onto the barn to make it even bigger and accommodating for the animals, and also so it could double as an office.
“Looking down on [the people and animals below] and my heart could literally burst,” she wrote in an Instagram post about her new office. “Every single one of them have a story. Some of them joyful and some of them harder and heavier then [SIC] any one heart should carry. All of them surrounded and snuggling with animals and people that understand.”
As if enough good didn’t come out of this episode, she shared that during filming, three puppies from a new litter were taken home by Queer Eye employees, including one by Jonathan Van Ness, who named his puppy “Elton.”
Ranch Will Be Able to Provide Better Care For Animals
All in all, Wallace-Griner says she couldn’t be more thrilled with the experience of appearing on Queer Eye. The animal sanctuary owner was genuinely touched by how kind and wonderful the Fab Five were in real life.
Thanks to the show, she and the team will be able to provide even better support and care for animals like Pebo the Macaw, Tuck the Tortoise, Franklin the Dog and Champion the Cow.
The episode aired on December 31, 2021, and you can watch it now on Netflix. To learn more about Safe in Austin, visit safeinaustin.org.
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More stories about inspirational people in Austin: Find out how one ice pops company in Austin is giving back in the sweetest way. Learn more about Doggies for Dementia, which is fighting the dementia stigma through cute dog photos. And, just for fun, meet Lily the delivery dog, an Austin-based TikTok superstar.