On March 24, a woman pulled her blue car into the Graniteville Cemetery and led a regal golden German shepherd out on a leash.

The woman walked into the cemetery, unleashed the dog, then ran back to her car and drove away.

The dog waited in the cemetery for the owner to return. She waited. No one could get near her.

The story made Crime Watch and Facebook.

Suzanne was at the beach and decided she would see if the dog was still there when she got back to Graniteville.

Suzanne is a nurse, a concealed weapons trainer, and a dog-lovin’ single mom with four children, three under the age of 10.

When she first set eyes on the abandoned dog, she began a vigil at the cemetery. She would establish ties with the animal.

But Suzanne was not alone, either in her concern for the dog or her attempts to catch her.

“It was like a three-ring circus up there,” she said, “People would come and drop whole bags of dog food on the headstones. They’d leave pizza, hot wings and leftover meals. The cemetery board wanted her out of there.”

One guy brought his wife, a camera and a pit bull who was to run the elusive dog down, while his wife caught the heroic capture on camera?

Suzanne, young Jeremiah, Mr. Wayne and her neighbor Mike spent countless hours coaxing the poor dog.

Suzanne would get off work, get the kids, and stay at the cemetery until dark. They named the dog Sasha.

When Aiken County Animal control was called, Chief Bobby Arthurs enlisted Suzanne’s aid. She knew where the dog would run.

The first try with a tranquilizer dart sent Sasha to the woods where she disappeared and slept it off.

The next day, it took five men and a net to capture her.

Sasha was impounded. She would have to be retained for five days. She would be tested for heartworm.

What if the test was positive? Suzanne was already committed to giving Sasha a home with her, the kids and their other two little rescued dogs.

She didn’t want Sasha to have to stay in the shelter. Our current shelter cannot keep dogs healthy.

They do the best they can, but it is not a place for vulnerable animals.

Sasha tested negative for heartworm.

Suzanne went to the shelter every one of those five days and took Sasha out of her pen and walked her, petted her and helped her remember how to play.

When she brought Sasha home, she had kennel cough.

Sasha has her own crate, like a private cave, in Suzanne’s bedroom. The door is usually open.

Sasha is never alone. She goes to work with Suzanne, if her oldest daughter is not home, and their big Suburban is now Sasha’s car.

She loves the kids and her two “brother dogs.” But Suzanne is Sasha’s No. 1 human now, and the feeling is obviously mutual.

See “Sasha’s Rescue” on Facebook.

FOTAS volunteers work with the Aiken County Animal Shelter, 411 Wire Road. For more information, contact info@fotasaiken.org or visit www.fotasaiken.org.

*All adoption fees include: Spay/Neuter, heartworm test, all shots, worming, and microchip.













Owner return



Euthanasia %



Aiken County Animal Shelter: “By the Numbers”