Welcome to Scatter Joy Acres, a unique sanctuary where the healing power of animals meets the needs of the community. Founded by Joy Bartling, this tranquil ranch in Murray, NE, is home to over 88 animals, offering Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) and the Equine Eagala Model Program for individuals with diverse needs, including developmental disabilities, at-risk youth, seniors, and veterans and their caregivers. Beyond AAT, the ranch also provides educational programs and hosts a variety of events in a serene country setting. Explore our site to discover the magic of Scatter Joy Acres, where animals and people come together for healing and joy.

Animal Assisted Therapy

Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) offers a unique and heartwarming approach to enhancing well-being and reducing stress through the bond with animals. This innovative therapy integrates animals as key elements in treatment, assisting therapists in creating and sustaining effective, solution-focused programs. AAT significantly improves social, emotional, and cognitive functions, with clients responding better to therapy when they receive unconditional love from an animal. The simple acts of stroking and hugging a warm, furry friend provide therapeutic benefits, especially for those uncomfortable with human touch. This form of therapy is not just relaxing and enjoyable; it also teaches nurturing skills and provides meaningful engagement for all ages, from children learning empathy to seniors gaining both physical and emotional stimulation. Our AAT program is dedicated to supporting those with special needs in our community, leveraging the power of animals to bring about positive change.

Be Somebody Program
We empower teens and adults through a unique program combining animal care and Cowboy Ethics, based on The Code of the West. Our curriculum, structured in four phases, focuses on building strong work ethics and self-improvement. Participants learn the value of hard work, responsibility, and grit through hands-on ranch activities and animal care. We strive to replace the entitlement mindset with skills of integrity and determination, shaping productive citizens for a better future. Join us in our mission to positively impact lives, one student at a time.
Adopt a Pet
Are you searching for a new furry companion? Scatter Joy Acres is your ideal destination, offering a wide range of pets from small critters to the perfect lap animals. Our shelter animals, highly socialized and ready for adoption, come from both our organization and trusted partner rescues. Experience a unique meet-and-greet with all our animals at the ranch – no appointment needed – or find them on Petfinder. Come find your “furever” friend at Scatter Joy Acres!
Public Petting Zoo​
Visit our welcoming barnyard, where animals of all kinds await to enchant visitors young and old. Immerse yourself in the world of farm animals through hands-on interaction. Our diverse family ranges from chickens to cows, donkeys to ducks, and llamas to alpacas, not to mention our sheep, goats, ponies, and even a camel! We pride ourselves on providing a safe and accessible environment for everyone to enjoy and connect with our animals. Come and experience the joy and learning our barnyard offers!


Public Petting Zoo Hours

Office Hours