Suzie's Friends fights stray epidemic - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Suzie's Friends fights stray epidemic

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January 15, 2008

Homerville - Suzie's Friends is an animal shelter like no other.  Here the cats have jungle gyms and temperature-controlled arenas.

And the dogs aren't cooped up in pens, but enjoy the outdoors in several large yards.

"If you envision taking you children to Disney World, that's what happens to animals here. Its their own Disney World," says shelter co-founder John Allison.

The idea began four years ago, when this poor pup limped into the yard of John and Shelley Allison's Homerville home.

She was taken in but her leg had to be amputated, possibly the result of dog fighting.

"Probably her leg was dislocated. Maybe she wouldn't fight so he just grabbed her by the leg and threw her out," Allison says.

Suzie's now living large in the shelter she helped inspire. Now her owners hope her story will help put an end to dog fighting in the area.

They've just transformed this warehouse to a large education and training center where law enforcers can meet and learn newest techniques to stamp out dog fighting.

"A lot of training classes these officers have to go to are up in Atlanta or out of state and something Suzies friends wants to do is bring the training here!" says Regional Director Pat Smith.

And they'll bring in young students to teach them how to grow up to be responsible pet owners.  "Hopefully when they get to the age of maturity and get married they will have learned how to be kind and treat their animals," she adds.

With nearly 100 strays and rescue animals, the shelter is at capacity and they hope their efforts will help battle the stray and dog fighting epidemic in rural communities.

Suzie's Friends is a non-profit shelter that runs off donations from caring animal lovers and offers the classes for minimal to no fee. 

If you are intersted in finding out more on the classes, wish to adopt or donate, call 229-200-3712 or click here.

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