This 2.57-carat diamond will be auctioned off this week with the proceeds going to the Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch, located in Medina, Texas. Photo courtesy of Rachel Fitch/Fitch Estate Sales

The Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch that is located in Medina, Texas was founded in 1998 by author and musician Kinky Friedman. Within a few days of its inception more than 40 dogs were liberated from death row in Kerrville and Hondo Texas.

Over the years, Friedman managed to raise enough funds to keep Utopia going. More than a thousand animals from dogs, cats, pigs, donkeys and goats have been saved. Although most become adopted, but others live out their days on the ranch.

As a way to procure funds to help run the shelter, a 2.57 carat diamond will be auctioned off. The ring was donated by a longtime friend of Friedman, Linda Forse. The ring her grandfather had bought for her grandmother in 1965 for their 50th wedding anniversary.
The most immediate beneficiary of the sale is a female black lab, dubbed Bonnie Raitt by Parker-Simons.

“Bless her heart,” Parker-Simons says. “She ended up as a stray at this man’s house. He’s losing a battle with cancer. He ended up feeding her, but he didn’t have the money to take care of her, and he called us.”

Utopia took Bonnie Raitt to the vet, who said she appeared to have been hit by a car. She needed surgery on both hips and she had two torn ACLs and a fractured pelvis. Some of the surgery has been performed; the rest will come after she recuperates from the first operations. Her medical bills will be the highest any Utopia animal has incurred.