Finding Homes for Georgia’s
Orphaned & ‘Death Row’ Shelter Dogs

In 2002 John & Shelley Allison from Homerville, Georgia decided that they would build a shelter for their local community and save all of its homeless animals. They did just that and they named it after their latest arrival that they named Suzie, a little yellow dog that had a broken front leg and according to the vet had been dragging the leg for a couple of years. 

So Suzie’s Friends No-Kill Animal Sanctuary was built and by all standard it was one of Georgia’s finest. Many have compared it to Disney World for animals.  But few came to adopt!  In fact it has been over 3 years since anyone has even set foot in our beautiful facility to adopt or even to find out what we do.  How can this be?

It took me 12 years to realize that as nice as our facility is and as much as we care about these animals that there are just not enough caring homes or caring people to go around in south Georgia.  Suzie’s Friends had become a warehouse for animals that no-one wanted and as a no-kill facility we had to hang out the ‘no-vacancy’ sign because there were just not enough beds to go around.

In March of 2015 I had made a ‘last ditch’ effort to see if there were Humane Societies and SPCA’s out of state who would be willing to help. I was very pessimistic. I kept asking myself ‘who in their right mind would want us to drop off our problems on their doorsteps?’  I was quite surprised when I found out that there were people who we did not know that were willing to share our pain and help us find homes for our animals.

As of October 1, 2017 along with our partners Animal Aid USA and Almons All About Animals we have spayed/neuter and found homes for over 30,000 dogs.. Most have been transported into loving homes in areas of the country who actually have a shortage of adoptable dogs.


So – Just Who Are Suzie’s Friends?

Suzie’s Friends are people who believe that all life has value and who object to the killing of helpless animals in shelters just to make room for more or allowing them to starve to death in a ditch.

Suzie’s Friends are the volunteers who go into shelters, alleyways, woods and dumpsters to save the dogs whose time on earth is short.
Suzie’s Friends are the volunteers who foster the dogs and prepare them for a domestic life as a loyal pet before they are transported to their new home.

Suzie’s Friends are the families who open up their hearts and homes to these poor dogs and provide for them – a long and happy life.

Suzie’s Friends are the dogs themselves who walk the highways and by-ways, ditches and back roads looking for something to eat, a warm place to sleep or a gentle touch to calm their fears.

Suzie’s Friends are people just like you who will reach into their pockets and help us find ways to save even more unwanted and homeless dogs. Without you – the wheels stop turning and we all know what that means.



What is the life

 of a frightened shelter dog






 Here is a typical

Load and Go! YouTube


The Hurt  of seeing an animal die will last a lifetime and no-one can better explain to you this terrible hurt than the shelter employee who has to make the decision of who lives and who dies.  I am ashamed just knowing that I am part of a society that can’t or won’t think of a better way.

With this in mind I am reminded of this quote.  “When we are no longer able to change a situation we are challenged to change ourselves.” ~ Viktor E. Frank

Through the Freedom Riders Project we have decided to change ourselves.

The only way that we can help is by trying to find as many homes as possible for Georgia’s death row shelter dogs. If we can learn how to do this with any degree of success then just maybe the Freedom Riders Project will be an inspiration for other communities to use parts of our model to help save those who die in their shelters.