NewsLatest News Items:
Congratulations Fly Pups! -- Wednesday August 2nd, 2023
We would like to congratulate Matt Kiener of Fly Pups (www.flypups.org) on his 100th rescue mission. Matt has been transporting dogs across the northeast since 2011. In 2021 when SoCo was at a crisis point with no way to transport the dogs to NJ, Matt came to the rescue. Since that time, he has been a valuable member of the team flying precious cargo about every other month. We are grateful for his support. Fly Pups is a non-profit organization and needs our support. You can learn more at their website.
2022 Wrap UP -- Friday December 23rd, 2022
As 2022 comes to an end, we have so much to look back on. We had the challenge of moving from the old property to the new rescue. This required manpower, funding and donations. We are thankful that our staff, volunteers and community came together to make it happen. This year we had Matt Kiener of Fly Pups transport dogs to Sky Manor airport. Meeting the plane and unloading the happy dogs is quite a sight to see. If you have not been there to greet the plane, watch for the next flight. You will not be disappointed. Despite adoption rates slowing after Covid, we were able to adopt out close to 300 dogs. You can see many of their rescue stories on our YouTube page. We want to thank all of our sponsors, who will appear in our 2023 calendar. We would also like to thank all those who did fundraisers for us. With a heart of gratitude, we thank all our donors, volunteers and supporters everywhere. Every bit helps us to help them! We look forward to another year of saving lives together.
$20,000 in One Night -- Saturday July 23rd, 2022
SoCo Appreciation Night was a big success. We were able to live stream our fundraiser so all could join in the fun. At the rescue we had games and pranks, including Scott Bennett getting a pie in the face! We want to thank all those that came to the rescue for the evening and all our followers who participated. Thanks to your generous donations, we were able to raise the funds we need to finish the construction on the rescue. We could not do it without you!
SoCo Appreciation Night -- Wednesday June 1st, 2022
Please join us in our SoCo Appreciation Night with Jordan's Way on Wednesday, June 1st 6:00-10:00 pm. We will have live events at the new rescue and in NJ. But don't worry, we will be broadcasting live on FB so everyone can join in. Scott will give a tour of the new rescue, you can meet all the dogs, look for SoCo Jeopardy and lots more fun! We put the "fun" in fundraising! Save the date!
Scott Wins Award! -- Friday March 25th, 2022
Animal Welfare Heroes 2022 Contest: Scott wins $250 for the Entrepreneurial Courage Award! Thanks for all your votes. Scott was nominated 7 times and received the second highest number of votes in less than 24 hours. We congratulate him on the award. Here's some words from Scott and from one person that nominated him for the award. Why did you begin (to help with) this organization? Southern Comfort was founded in 2001 in Savannah, Georgia, to provide shelter and find temporary foster or permanent homes for pets left behind when troops in nearby Ft. Stewart's 3rd Infantry Division shipped out to Iraq and Afghanistan. This filled an important need for our service people. In 2006 when we moved to Glenwood, Georgia, it became very clear that Southern Comfort would fill a critical need in Wheeler County. This county is one of the most impoverished counties in the nation and lacks any animal control or shelters for unwanted animals. Many dogs and puppies are abandoned daily. Southern Comfort is their only hope. Every dog, and I mean EVERY dog, deserves a chance to live out their lives with their basic needs met. What I see daily breaks my heart and is just plain wrong. When I know of a dog out there suffering, starving in the woods, or living in a tiny dirt pen, I cannot sleep and need to do all I can to see them relieved of their suffering. Overall these years, I have seen the dogs from the most desperate conditions not only heal and thrive but also enter a loving home and bring joy to that family. In return, the family is thankful and offers care and kindness to others. The other side of abused and abandoned dogs is the people that love them back to life. Being part of this process is my life and I have no regrets. Being the only resource for Wheeler County dogs, we have saved dogs from every corner of the county. People leave them on the property. We get calls about abandoned and injured dogs and we search for them and bring them to the rescue to be cared for and fed. I have made the 850 miles drive to New Jersey to have dogs adopted for 10 years, more times than I can count. Locals contact me for help with food, vaccines, spay and neutering, medical bills. I am happy to help people who want to do right with their dogs but cannot afford the cost. I have a good relationship with the local authorities and they will come to me when they need assistance catching or removing dogs from a property. Southern Comfort received a grant from Fix Georgia Pets. We have volunteers work on the applications. Whenever we have someone who does not have transportation to the vet, I am happy to lend a hand. I like to think that I make the county a better place for all the dogs and people I come in contact with. What their nominator(s)said about them: For the last two decades, He has dedicated his life to rescuing, healing, and re-homing abandoned, neglected, and abused dogs in rural Georgia. He runs Southern Comfort Animal Rescue (SoCo) based in Wheeler County, one of the most impoverished counties in the United States. If you are familiar with dog rescue in Southern Georgia, you know the challenges he faces every day: too many dogs, pups living in horrid conditions, injuries and illness adding up vet bills, not enough foster homes, and too little money. Despite all this, SoCo has continued to be a no-kill shelter. A dozen or so dogs have been at the rescue for most of their lives. To some, it would make sense to have them euthanized to make room for other, more “adoptable” dogs. But no: he is determined to give them their chance and provides them with safety and care until they find their forever true homes, or, allows them to live out their lives at the rescue. SoCo is at capacity much of the time. But that does not stop him from driving far and wide to bring in a dog that has no other options. Just last week, he drove out to Dublin to save Antonio (named for the gentleman who found him). Antonio appears to be a Maltese mix, approximately 9 years. He was found covered in abscesses and suffering from entropion (eyelids turn inward), causing him to be blind. Many would have given up, let him be put down. But not him. He rushed Antonio to the vet, had him cleaned, sutured, and treated, and now Antonio is at home with him. Next will be the challenge of raising funds for vet care and finding Antonio a loving home. Different versions of this story—starving dogs, puppies abandoned at the dump, dogs living on a chain—appear every month on the SoCo Facebook page. We have just about 13,000 followers cheering on each dog, and Scott, and waiting to hear the fate of these precious beings. SoCo Rescue is a former industrial building outfitted with kennels, and several outdoor pens – enough to hold about 80 dogs at a time. Each week dogs that arrive are vaccinated, de-wormed, and treated with antibiotics if they have infections or diseases. Many of the sick and injured live with him, in his office or master bath as he helps them heal. Each month he drives 25 to 30 rehabilitated dogs in a bus 850 miles north to New Jersey. This is an arduous mission as the pups and dogs need to be fed, cleaned, and walked. At night, he joins the pack, setting up his bed on the floor of the bus. This has affectionately become known as the “Freedom Ride.” At the end of the journey, the bus is greeted by eager volunteers who organize adoption events and often foster puppies and older dogs. While in foster homes, the pups and dogs are given basic training and have time to overcome their anxiety and trauma while they become accustomed to interacting with people, other dogs, cats, or other pets. Sooner and sometimes later, each pup finds its way to a loving home. Adoption photos are shared so all can witness the wonder of rescue, the power of kindness and good in the world. Over the years a community has evolved where the values of generosity, care, and hope are cultivated. Scott Bennett has been the inspiration for this community. He knows almost every adopter and they all remember him fondly. The moment of inspiration for me came some time ago when I was fostering a dog named Barkley who was afraid of people, especially men. Barkley had been taken into several homes but returned each time. I asked for help and Scott came to my home to visit with Barkley. I could not believe my eyes when Barkley met him with a wagging tail, jumps, and kisses. I saw the truth of trust and hope. Barkley was eventually adopted and today lives a happy and healthy life in a loving home. Of course, the overpopulation of dogs will not be solved by adoptions. Committed to ending the overpopulation problem, SoCo has received a grant from Fix Georgia Pets to assist those who do not have the means to spay/neuter their dogs and cats. Volunteers at SoCo vet applications and notify pet owners of support awarded. Still, many do not have the funds for the required rabies vaccine or have transportation. In these cases, he will have SoCo cover the cost of vaccines and arrange transportation so that everyone who wants their pets spayed/neutered can do so. When people say he has “dedicated” his life to rescuing dogs, there can be no overstating the meaning of the word. He is CEO of SoCo Rescue, but also its chief medical officer, head trainer, main doggy psychologist, pack leader, handyman, pooper-scooper, driver, and fund-raiser. He takes no salary from the rescue. He works, literally, every single day. He has a few days off and takes rare vacations. Saving dogs is his life. The miracle of his work is that while SoCo Rescue is a small, shoestring operation, its impact is massive. In 2020, SoCo adopted more than 400 dogs – more than once per day. Thousands of dogs have gone from lives of desperation, deprivation, and cruelty to loving, caring homes. Thousands of dogs that would almost certainly have suffered and died have come to SoCo and hit the lottery – they’ve gone on to live the kind of happy, comfortable lives every dog deserves. There are certainly many people working in dog rescue who do great work. He is eminently worthy of recognition. Ways to Donate (PayPal, Amazon, Facebook, etc.) If you'd like to contribute, please donate via PayPal, Venmo, Facebook, Amazon Wishlist/Smile, Chewy Wishlist, or directly to: Southern Comfort Animal Rescue, Inc, 1484 N. Highway 19, Glenwood, GA 30428. You can email them at: SoCoRescue8@gmail.com. Or you can call them at: (912) 423-0145. Most needed: What we need most now are contributions towards building our new rescue. Last Spring, we were able to purchase a new property and have been busy converting the horse stable into dog kennels. Our old building is quite worn and does not have indoor/outdoor kennels. We are committed to providing improved living quarters for all our dogs and have been making progress on this mission over the past 10 months. To complete the construction, we need financial donations, construction materials (currently fencing), as well as volunteers to help with the construction.
Help! Sponsor a Soco Dog -- Thursday February 3rd, 2022
We have lots of adult dogs at the rescue that need help. Before boarding the Freedom Ride, each dog needs a trip to the vet for vaccines, heart worm testing and sometimes treatment for heart worm or other parasites. With limited resources, we can only bring several dogs a month so many have to wait their turn. You can help a dog, shorten their stay at the rescue and help get them into to a home faster by offering sponsorship. It's simple: Find a dog you want to help. Your financial assistance can go directly to that dog. When we get them to NJ, you come to meet them so they can thank you before they go into foster. Another option is to foster a dog. Once our dogs get to NJ, they have a much better chance of getting adopted. Find a dog you could fall in love with and invite them into your home for a while. They will be forever grateful!
SoCo Wish List -- Thursday November 18th, 2021
This time of year, we have many asking about our wish lists. From work groups to girls scouts, we have lots of helping hands. As a small rescue with a big heart and a grand mission, we are always in need of supplies. We have our wish lists posted under "How to Help". All donations are greatly appreciated!
FIX Georgia Pets -- Wednesday September 15th, 2021
SoCo Rescue is committed to decreasing the number of unwanted and abandoned animals and is willing to help all those dog owners who understand the importance of spaying or neutering but might not be able to have the funds to afford the cost. We recently received a spay and neuter grant from Fix Georgia Pets to assist those with limited resources in spaying a neutering their dogs. Interested parties will need to complete an application which will be reviewed by Scott Bennett, President and CEO as well as the Grant Coordinator. All procedures will take place at the Sandersville Veterinary Clinic in Sandersville. Participants will be expected to provide transportation for their dogs. SoCo maybe able to help with transportation in special circumstances. You can find a link to the application on on the website home page, on the right hand side under "News". We are happy to be partnering with Fix Georgia Pets to help end pet overpopulation in Georgia!
WE DID IT! -- Thursday June 3rd, 2021
Never underestimate the power of generosity! A huge thank you to all of you who supported SoCo's “Rescue Our Rescue” campaign. With the help of Anne and Paul Donnello and the King Family Giving Fund, we met our initial goal: we raised $100,000 in one month! Amazing... astonishing, all the care and love out there for saving this little rescue. Truly a feel good moment for all of us. Any day now we will close on the new property. You can watch the unfolding of this beautiful story on our FB page.
May Match Will Double Your Donation! -- Wednesday May 5th, 2021
We have some amazing news about our Rescue Our Rescue Fundraising Campaign. The King Family Giving Foundation has offered to match all donations starting May 5th - May 31st up to $50,000! That’s right, every dollar donated is doubled as of today. We are very thankful for the generosity of the King Family and are ready for this challenge. We would like to thank everyone who has donated so far. We are not there yet so if you have a little more to give, we could use your support now. And if not: Do you have a business or group that would like to support SoCo? Consider your 2021 donations now to make a donation today! Maximize your donation by looking for company/corporate matches. Tell all your family and friends and even your enemies! We are determined to reach our goal so that our dogs are taken care of, offered homes, spread the love and joy that always come with knowing a dog!
Rescue Our Rescue Campaign -- Monday May 3rd, 2021
SoCo Rescue is organizing this fundraiser to benefit Southern Comfort Animal Rescue, Inc.. Want to join us in making a difference for abandoned dogs? We're raising money to benefit our organization Southern Comfort Animal Rescue, Inc., and any donation will help make an impact. Thanks in advance for your contribution to this cause that means so much to us! For almost 10 years, Scott Bennett, President of Southern Comfort Animal Rescue, has been bringing abused, neglected, and homeless dogs from rural Georgia to New Jersey, where they are adopted and placed in loving, forever homes. Driving a large bus outfitted with more than two dozen crates, he makes the 1,700 mile round trip “Freedom Ride” every month to connect area dog-lovers with pups in need. Last year, SoCo placed more than 400 dogs in New Jersey homes. Now, our well-loved rescue has lost its home and is at risk of closing its doors! The property in Wheeler County, Georgia where the rescue currently stands , is being sold. But, we haven’t given up. At this very moment, efforts are being made to secure a property that SoCo may call home forever. This is a huge endeavor for our small rescue so we’re reaching out to you for help. We are attempting to raise $100,000 that will help us purchase a property that includes multiple buildings that could be easily converted into a proper dog shelter, plenty of land in which to one day expand and even a small home that will allow Scott to live onsite with the rescue dogs. We humbly invite you to help us continue to: - offer the only resource for the dogs in Wheeler county and surrounding areas - match dog lovers with dogs-in-need - save lives of dogs and puppies everyday - realize our dream of finally having a permanent home Generous Donors Get Us Started Paul and Anne Donnelo of Titusville, NJ have launched the Rescue Our Rescue campaign by donating $2500. They have adopted a SoCo dog and believe whole-heartedly in our mission. Please join them in going the extra distance to make the SoCo dream come true. We are asking one and all to join us in this unbelievable effort! We are planning several ways to honor our donors Pledges $249 or less recognized on our FB page Pledges of $250 will have a place on our virtual donor wall on our website Pledges of $500 or more will have place on our virtual donor wall and your own personalized kennel at the new rescue or crate on the Freedom Ride Bus We are hoping to raise $100,000 in 2021. Please help the dogs of Wheeler County! Ways to Donate - GoFundMe - gofund.me/4789a2e5 Venmo - @SoCo-Rescue (Scott Bennett, 4 digit code 0145) PayPal - SoCoRescue8@gmail.com Check - SoCo Rescue, 1484 N. Highway 19, Glenwood, GA 30428 A hearthfelt THANK YOU for helping our cause!!
Rescue Our Rescue Campaign -- Saturday May 1st, 2021
We are launching a campaign to purchase our own home. Please offer support by making a donation today. Watch for updates!
HELP! Sponsor a Dog
GA Spay/Neuter Assistance
Mailing - 600 Vance Road