On February 28th, 2019, a mass rescue effort initiated at the property of a local dog breeder in Nashville, GA. Although licensed by the Department of Agriculture to own and operate such a facility, the owner agreed to turn over the animals in his care.
Over 600 animals were seized over 3 days. On Wednesday of the next week, a home check was performed only to find the man had taken possession of another 85 animals. This time he was arrested. Both times, U.S.A Rescue Team was there to take possession of the animals and divide them up among several area rescues. Leading the effort was Beth Fields.
Jan McMullen, of U.S.A. Rescue Team says, “Beth was there with boots on the ground every single day, start to finish, making sure the dogs were catalogued, counted and brought to safety.”
Beth Fields loves dogs, and it’s apparent that they love her as well. What started out as a story about her adopting out her one-hundredth dog quickly became something else all together. The tone of the story changed for two reasons; one, because Beth doesn’t enjoy talking about her efforts one single bit, and secondly, because the recent massive rescue had such a profound effect on Beth. So, this became a story about a massive rescue effort that involved rescue teams from several states (some as far away as Ohio) and foster volunteers who were willing to take one or more animals into their homes.
It Started With A Trip to the Pound
For Beth, she has lost count of the number of animals she’s fostered over the years, estimating the number is close to 200.
Beth has always had a passion for the pups, and her fostering began with a trip to the local pound to look for a dog
“I went to the shelter and left crying,” she said.
From that day on she would go to the pound and find dogs that no one wanted.
“She cares for dogs tht have been deemed unacceptable by some of the area shelters,” said McMullen. She added “her heart is pure when it comes to their well-being.”
She takes them in, works with them, and lets them know what a loving family feels like. When they are ready to adopt out, she begins looking for permanent homes for them. She finds other ways to help that include raising money, paying adoption fees and acting as an admin on a local Facebook page, answering questions, posting for fosters and asking for sponsors.
U.S.A. Rescue Team
Beth started out by working with the Humane Society. While she has worked with them for several years, she began to realize their ultimate goals weren’t always in alignment.
Beth said, “We wanted to focus more on pet adoptions. A bunch of people formed their own rescue, and I foster for them. All our foster dogs live in our homes. U.S.A. Rescue Team doesn’t have a separate facility.”
When the call came through to assist with the mass rescue in Nashville, U.S.A. Rescue Team was the only one allowed on the property. They would go in, retrieve the dogs and place them with the other rescue teams that were waiting nearby.
U.S.A. Rescue Team kept close to 100 of the dogs in the Lowndes County area. Many of the animals retrieved from the property required immediate medical attention. Those animals went to local veterinarians for treatment. When the animals are released by the vet, they will spend time with foster families and be put up for adoption.
The Adoption Process
Beth encourages people with an interest in adopting a foster dog to let her or U.S.A. Rescue Team know.
“I tell people not to judge what they see when the dogs are in a cage. They’re scared. Animals are like children. They don’t have a choice in what’s happening to them. We talk to people to try to find out what’s going on in their home and what they’re going to expect from the dog. We also do home visits,” said Beth.
Sometimes it doesn’t always work out with the new family, however.
“We do take our fosters back. If someone adopts a dog and it doesn’t work, they can bring it back. It costs $185 to adopt a dog. This includes vaccinations, spay/neutering, and microchipping. All dogs are medically cleared before they can adopt out.”
Beth and U.S.A. Rescue Team have several corporate supporters in the Valdosta area. Every Saturday, PetSmart at the Valdosta Mall hosts an adoption event that runs from 11 am to 4 pm. Animals come from many of the local fosters as well as the Lowndes County Animal Shelter. While at the store, potential owners can play with them, walk them around the store and interact with them on a one-on-one basis. Beth and the rescue team are on hand to answer questions and fill out the necessary paperwork. Each week many dogs adopt out through this operation alone. New owners receive a coupon book from PetSmart for many of the items they will need for their new family member.
Panera Bread located at 1173 N. Saint Augustine Road is hosting an event on March 29th from 4 pm to 8 pm.
Panera will accept a coupon from the U.S.A. Rescue Team’s Facebook Page. By presenting the printed coupon at the time of their visit, Panera will donate a part of the proceeds to ongoing rescue efforts.
Donations Are Always Welcome
You can donate any items a pet might need, such as food, grooming supplies or pads. Monetary donations are always appreciated as they help to buy needed items and to offset vet bills that incur with rescue efforts.