Founder of Wiregrass Animal Group receives “Silent Heroes” award

Stefanie Berry, founder of WAG, is this month's Silent Hero
Published: Aug. 25, 2022 at 8:28 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - When Stefanie Berry first came to the Wiregrass in 2015, she immediately got involved with other pet rescues. Eventually, she decided to organize her own, Wiregrass Animal Group, also known as “WAG.”

“So I always loved dogs,” Berry explains, “as far as I can remember we had dogs growing up in Germany. It wasn’t until my adult life that I became active in doing something. "

In Southeast Alabama, there’s no shortage of work when it comes to caring for homeless pets.

“We are a foster-based rescue. We don’t have a facility, the animals that we have for adoption are in foster homes,” Berry explains how the organization works.

The operation works with three local shelters to get dogs into foster homes and assists with surrenders and rehoming. For those who have a soft spot for animals, the job can be overwhelming.

“You never run out of dogs that need you,” says Berry “there’s always a need, always a dog waiting, you get three adopted and six are needing to come into rescue so that’s one of the hardest mental parts.”

It’s why Stefanie constantly stresses one rule to all pet owners.

“What I need for the Wiregrass to do is to spay and neuter their animals,” Berry says, “that’s what I really need them to do because sadly we can’t rescue our way out of this situation whether it’s dogs or cats. There’s just so many and the only solution is responsible pet ownership”

The workload is great but the reward is often greater.

The operation works with three local shelters to get dogs into foster homes and assists with surrenders and rehoming.

“The high points are definitely the adoptions, when we find this perfect family for the dog, or when we can get a bigger group of dogs transported to Northern states through our partners,” she says “we really feel like we can make a change, you know?”

Stefanie says she welcomes any help she can get with WAG.

“I usually post needs for drivers, which is a big part,” Berry says “a lot of fosters are not able to drive all over to get the dog. Another big help is publicity really. Follow our page, share our events and fundraisers, share the adoptable dogs just so it gets out to other people.”

One of WAG’s biggest fundraisers are dog washes they hold throughout the summer. Their last one for the year will be this Saturday, August 27th from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Groomingdales located at 1500 Rucker Boulevard in Enterprise.

You can find more information on WAG through their Facebook Page.

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