Welcome to GARD

Georgia Animal Rescue and Defence, Inc. is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit animal charity and a licensed 509(a)2  no-kill animal shelter that is funded entirely by private contributions, and receives no government funding. GARD was founded by, and is privately owned by, a family of animal lovers who have dedicated their lives to saving animals and educating others regarding the pet over-population problem. Joy Bohannon, her husband Phil Rutherford, and her mother JoAnne Bohannon, sold their homes in Vermont and moved to Georgia in 2005 for the sole purpose of helping to one day end the slaughter of innocent and healthy dogs and cats in shelters. In Vermont, and throughout the Northeastern U.S., the pet over-population problem is not quite as severe as it is in the South; mainly due to harsher winter weather conditions, stricter spay/neuter regulations, and access to more low cost spay/neuter clinics. They know the over-population problem is everywhere they just chose the area of the U.S. where it is the worst to place their efforts and passion into making things better. With Phil working a full time job to pay the bills, they began volunteering with a few local Animal Control shelters for a year. It soon became apparent that the best way to make a big difference and have the control that they needed was to purchase their own property and establish a no-kill animal shelter. The GARD Animal Shelter was born in 2006.  Read MORE...

Just a word about our name.  A number of people have generously offered to "correct" our spelling of the word defence.  This is not a typo, but a preference for the British variant of the more traditional spelling of defense.



Please help us to help them

Only 1 out of 10 dogs born ever get a home.  Only 1 out of 12 cats born ever find a home.  800 dogs and cats are KILLED each HOUR in the U.S. because there are not enough homes for them all.

Please help GARD is always overwhelmed with vet bills.  We pride ourselves in rescuing dogs that most groups would not because of injuries or illnesses.  Of course, this costs more money in veterinary bills, but is well worth the effort when you see a once ill or injured dog placed into a loving home.  Special needs cases drain any reserves we may have. Please help us to continue on our mission.  All contributions are tax deductible.  We cannot begin to express our gratitude for even the tiniest bit of help!

 Some of our dogs have special medical needs. If you would like to sponsor one of these dogs to help with their veterinary costs, please click the PoundWishes badge to the left and select the dog you wish to sponsor. Thank you for your support!





Patented Kuranda Dog Beds

We use Patented Kuranda Dog Beds because they are durable, chew proof and easy to clean. If you would like to donate a bed to us, click here.


Did you know that big black dogs are the last to be adopted?  Watch the video below and consider a big black dog when you adopt!





Our Pet List



The GARD shelter is open from 2:00 - 6:00pm every Friday-Monday. We are CLOSED on TUESDAYS, WEDNESDAYS, and THURSDAYS.  Take I16 to Exit 137 (hwy. 119).  Go south towards Pembroke.  We are 2.3 miles on the left.  Come see us for your new best friend!

Download a great savings coupon ($4.00) from Purina.  When you redeem your coupon, Purina donates $1,00 worth of Purina brand pet food coupons to the participating animal welfare organization of your choice!  Click the Give-a-Bowl icon to the left to download your $4.00 coupon!


Current Events