QUITMAN COUNTY, Ga. – A local animal shelter is fighting to stay alive. Crippling debt, a lack of foster families, and an uncertain future all threaten the existence of an important service to much of the Chattahoochee Valley.
Susan Hayley started Angel Dog Rescue in 2005, after a stray dog near and dear to her heart died. 11 years and 25 dogs later, she’s hoping a few angels around the Chattahoochee Valley can come to the rescue of not only those dogs in need, but also to the vital shelter she’s worked so hard to maintain.
Hayley has a tough task looking after stray dogs from both Georgia and Alabama. She takes in diseased and disabled dogs. She cares for those with various sorts of backgrounds. The animal shelter also doubles as her home. But in running the shelter, Hayley has run into some problems of her own.
“Like many people, I did not know how bad it was for some dogs,” Hayley said. “This is just not a dog friendly area, because it’s mainly about how people were raised, what they can afford, it’s just a different way of life.”
Hayley is $30,000 behind on the bills, and she says people in the area are unable to foster dogs. She adds that the community’s awareness in adopting or fostering dogs, more so than collecting money, will keep her shelter from going under. Foster families take on the responsibility of caring for the dog on a temporary basis.
“They take care of that dog until it’s rehabilitated,” Hayley explained.
Angel Dog Rescue takes care of many of the dog’s expenses. Kathy Wright fosters Rudy, a six-month old pit bull puppy on the mend. Wright says ignoring the needs of a stray dog represents a bigger issue.
“It’s not hard,” Wright explained. :Just seeing so many out on the streets, I love animals. I love dogs. I don’t want to see them mistreated or out in the cold, hurting and starving.”
Survival for Hayley’s shelter depends on a lot of help. It’s completely free to foster one of the dogs from Angel Dog Rescue. Hayley says she’s especially looking for people who fenced yards, but help can be provided. Hayley tells News 3 there are very few restrictions for fostering. People from Georgia, Florida, and Alabama are all eligible to care for the dogs. Ultimately, she wants them all to find permanent homes someday.
For more information, call Aprille Twe at 334-695-5163, email Hayley at firstname.lastname@example.org or click here.