2018-01-31 / Front Page

Magruder to the rescue

By Deborah Bennett
Millen News editor


Jeff and Angie McElroy-Magruder are shown in the 40ft RV they use to transport rescued dogs to Rhode Island for adoption through Save the Animals Rescue Society (STARS) of Augusta. Jeff and Angie McElroy-Magruder are shown in the 40ft RV they use to transport rescued dogs to Rhode Island for adoption through Save the Animals Rescue Society (STARS) of Augusta. With law offices in Augusta, Dublin and Statesboro and six children, one would think that Jeff and Angela McElroy- Magruder have enough to keep them very busy. However, the Magruders still make time to rescue abandoned and abused dogs and foster them at their home in Jenkins County for Save the Animals Rescue Society (STARS) of Augusta.

It was the Magruders’ desire to help abandoned and abused animals that led them to sell their home in Columbia County in 2015 and move to their present home in Jenkins County. They wanted to have the space to foster animals and provide homes for those who are not adopted through STARS. However, the animals they care for are not limited to dogs.

Jeff and Angie have formed the Magruder Farm Sanctuary where all of the animals in their care not only receive food, water and medical care, but also loving attention each and every day. They provide permanent homes for many dogs, six horses, several goats and numerous chickens, in addition to the dogs they foster through STARS.


Angela McElroy-Magruder is shown with Champ, a rescued bait dog. Champ lost a leg and an eye due to his injuries but found a permanent home with the Magruders. 
(Staff photos by Deborah Bennett) Angela McElroy-Magruder is shown with Champ, a rescued bait dog. Champ lost a leg and an eye due to his injuries but found a permanent home with the Magruders. (Staff photos by Deborah Bennett) “It takes about 2½ hours to feed and water the animals and clean the pens because we also take the time to love and play with all of them,” said Angie.

“We go through about 40 lbs. of dog food a day,” she said.

Jeff and Angie also make sure their animals have air conditioning and fans in the summer and that the pens are covered and have heat lamps in the winter. Sweaters are also purchased for the dogs in the winter. The Magruders also have purchased a 40 ft. RV which they use to transport between 30-50 dogs for the STARS group to Rhode Island for adoption.


The three dogs that Jeff and Angie McLeroy-Magruder say started their animal rescue efforts are shown. The three dogs that Jeff and Angie McLeroy-Magruder say started their animal rescue efforts are shown. “We load the dogs in crates in the back of the RV and make the 20 hour trip about every 4-5 weeks. We hold the adoption program at a Petco store and the ones that aren’t adopted are bought back to live with us,” Jeff said.

Such is the case of Champ, a dog which their daughter found crawling across the highway at a dumpster site on Old Louisville Road. The daughter picked the animal up and took it home to her parents who rushed him to a vet for medical care. Champ, as he was named by the Magruders, had been used as a bait dog for a dog fighting operation. He lost a leg and an eye but found a permanent home with Jeff and Angie. He has been with them three years now.

The Magruders’ neighbor, Beverly Joiner, remembers the incident well.

“Champ was picked up and put into the seat of a fancy automobile, carried to the veterinarians, and readied for a new life that he surely deserved. Champ's leg was dangling from his body, his eye torn out, his ear was ripped off, and at some point every tooth had been pulled from his mouth. During Champs recovery from the surgeries and wounds, he was placed in a big old baby buggy, and pushed around their big yard for therapy. For probably the first time in Champ's life he was fed good food, and no dog there has ever gone hungry. He was kept inside with air and heat and is truly loved by an entire amazing family. Now the story of Champ is just one of hundreds I could tell. I try to stop by daily and give him a treat and some loving, cause that big old once bait dog surely has stolen my heart,” she said.

“Jeff and Angie will travel a thousand miles to pick up an abused animal or take them to their approved forever homes. They spend time with each and every one of them. And if any one of the animals has a problem, off to the vet they go. As busy as they were during the bad weather this past year, they and their three daughters loaded up in Jeff’s truck and came here and helped Grady (Beverly's husband) make sure that each of our animals had safe shelter from the winds and rains to come. These are good folk, all the Magruders,” she said.

The Magruders are equally appreciative of Beverly and Grady for the help they give them.

“Beverly comes every day and does what she can before I get home. It saves a lot of time, and Grady once came and stood guard over our property when law enforcement was looking for an escapee in the area. We appreciate them so much,” Angie said.

“I believe Jenkins County was blessed the day the Magruders decided to move here, I know we Joiners were,” Beverly said. No doubt, all of the animals rescued by the Magruders would echo Beverly’s words, if they could talk!

Jeff and Angie say that they just want to promote “awareness” with hopes that others will join their fight against animal cruelty. They also say that rescue groups, including STAR, always appreciate towels, sheets as well as money and food. So, all are encouraged to donate.

The Magruders also offer a little advice.

“Always spay/neuter. And if you can’t afford it, ask for help. Also, it may not be safe to pick up every stray, but you can always feed them. Carry food and water and dollar store bowls in your car. For some dogs that may be the only good meal they ever have!”

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