Brian Odom was at a pet store when he saw Ruff Life Rescue and the group’s rescue dogs ready for adoption. He and his wife, Amee, wanted to adopt a special needs dog and there was a three-legged dog needing a home.
They adopted Jade, a Catahoula breed, and changed her name to Grendel as she started a new life in a loving home in Wingate.
“Grendel is amazing,” Amee said. “She is wicked fast, super strong.”
Ruff Life Rescue was founded by Kristen Marris, a 24-year-old who is passionate about her cause. Located in Fort Mill, the organization, which is staffed solely by volunteers, started four months ago.
“I am beyond ecstatic to announce that in just under four months, we have saved 80 lives,” Marris said in a Facebook post.
Ruff Life spreads the word about the rescue dogs they are helping by attending adoption events at local pet stores and cross posting through social media outlets. The group is seeking nonprofit status.
Marris said that incredible support has encouraged her to keep going with her mission.
Volunteers include 15 foster homes that take in the rescued dogs from a 60- to 75-mile radius. Dogs are vaccinated and spayed or neutered before they find permanent homes for them. Adopters are screened and home visits are made as necessary.
“I like knowing where my dogs are going,” Marris said. “Long term, I want to build a huge, no-kill shelter.”
Her commitment is strong.
“The dogs have unconditional love no matter how they’ve been mistreated before,” Marris said.
One day, she had several 4-day-old Boston terrier puppies small enough to fit in a person’s hand and needing to be bottle-fed; and another Great Dane mix she was heading to rescue.
“We are amazed at the number of animals Kristen and the Ruff Life team have saved in such a short time. It is obvious that the long-term health and happiness of these animals is paramount to their mission,” Amee said. “We are so thankful for Ruff Life’s determination and dedication. ... And for our sweet Grendel.”
Kim Becknell Williams is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Kim? Email her at email@example.com.
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