There are a number of organizations throughout the area that are involved in helping dogs find a new lease on life. Equine Rescue of Aiken is doing its part, and 84 dogs have been rescued and adopted out that may have met an untoward fate, said Debbie Rhodes, the adoption coordinator and a woman who is passionate about dog rescue and finding the animals loving homes.Rhodes had been a volunteer for Molly's Militia and had an opportunity to learn about what happens at the shelters. She had several of her own dogs and started off fostering two dogs at a time."We (at Equine Rescue of Aiken) want to save what we can," said Rhodes, who's concentrating at the moment on adopting out puppies. "We've worked with a few adults (dogs) here and there."One of the stalls at the rescue has been turned into a safe haven for a dog with a litter of seven puppies. There's also another puppy at Equine Rescue of Aiken that's waiting to be adopted."We'll get more puppies when these are adopted out," said Rhodes. "They're still fairly young. About 80 percent of the dogs get adopted over the Internet or from people coming out to the rescue. There's a link from our website directly to Petfinder."The rescue has also provided Rhodes with the opportunity to build relationships with other rescue groups and organizations such as FOTAS in Aiken County and shelters in Barnwell and Greenwood Counties, and she works with several places in Georgia."We concentrate primarily in helping dogs from Aiken County," said Rhodes. "We're able to provide a little bit more care than some of the other rescue groups because we don't have the largest volume."PetSmart has been very supportive of the rescue program, said Rhodes, who believes people not only have a responsibility to help their own pets, but also have an obligation to other dogs they may encounter, even if it means calling the animal shelter believing the dog at least has a chance to be adopted and a greater chance for survival then if it is left to fend for itself.The fee to adopt the dogs is $150, which includes spaying/neutering, deworming, inoculations, heartworm and flee prevention.For more information, visit aikenequinerescue.com, or call 643-1850.
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