Group Freedom Fences unchaining dogs across Upstate - FOX Carolina 21

Group Freedom Fences unchaining dogs across Upstate

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ANDERSON, SC (FOX Carolina) -

When Stella Thornton saw dogs at a shelter she said she had to have them.

"Two of them needed rescuing, so I got them and took care of them," Thornton said.

But over the years, she admits her heart grew bigger than her wallet and to keep them she chained them.

"I really did need some help," Thornton said.

So, she called the founders of Freedom Fences, a nonprofit group run by volunteers who unchain dogs and build fences and shelters for them.

"They came through, they helped. I mean look at that, it's fabulous," Thornton said.

Through donations the volunteers put up 20 x 20 fences, lay straw and put up dog houses for the dog owners who can't afford to do it.

"There is no other feeling like it, it's awesome," Patrice Shearin said.

She's the co-founder of Freedom Fences and wants a tethering ban in Anderson County.

"We're not letting the lack of laws stop us. We're still pushing for a better life for these dogs," Shearin said.

So, as an early Christmas gift to dogs and their owners, volunteers will unchain more than 50 dogs in Anderson, Pickens and Oconee Counties during Operation Christmas Freedom. Owners who qualify must be on a fixed income and must have their dogs spayed and neutered.

"We want to give it to somebody who truly is in need," Shearin said. "Our main goal for that is not only the health of the dog, but also to cut down on the numbers of dogs ending up at our shelter."

And Thornton said it's the best early Christmas gift ever.

"They got freedom you know. They're not on no chains anymore," Thornton said.

Organizers said Operation Christmas Freedom will be held on Friday and Saturday. Volunteers plan to put up 40 fences and 40 dog houses. Follow the links to the right for more info or email here.

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