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Dog rescue operation coming to Shorter

By Michael Butler

Tallassee attorney Mike Segrest was beaming upon telling the news of a new operation coming to Shorter. Segrest is the district attorney-elect for the 5th judicial circuit that covers Macon County.

Segrest was born in Macon County and resides there now. He has been instrumental in a plan coming together with Big Dog Ranch Rescue, the largest cage-free, no-kill dog rescue in the United States.


"We're so thankful to Mike. I'm blown away of how everbody has accepted us in the community. I feel like we're already home here in Shorter," said Lauree Simmons, president and founder of BDRR, based in Loxahatchee Groves, Fla. "You come in and buy a property from someone. You think we've closed, we're done. Nope. Mike has changed out all our air conditioners, replaced the electrical, cleaned it all up. He's been our on-site superintendent. We're going to be sad when he has to go to work in January as our local DA."

The property housed greyhounds for Victoryland but has not been used in ten years.

"I couldn't believe the kennels they were living in, these little 36 (inch) by 42 (inch) stack kennels. They're longer than that. How did they fit in there?," Simmons continued. "Our dogs will live in 6 (foot) by 6 (foot) rooms. They'll have synthetic grass play yards - a totally different environment, so something that was bad here has now turned to something good."

While Segrest will be moving to a new role as district attorney, he will remain active with BDRR as a member of their board of directors. He said that 50 jobs will be added over the next year with potentially more to follow. The first hire for the Shorter operation is Mike's son Fischer.


"He's actually working for them now. There's already been over a quarter of a million dollars of restoration going on. That's just the tip of the iceberg. It's going to be a lot of work going on out here."

Segrest estimated that around 500 dogs will be accommodated at the Shorter location.

"I'm proud of some of the initiatives we're going to be able to develop through the district attorney's office. Any of the pre-trial diversion programs that require community service, this is going to be a place where they can do that. The opportunities are endless."

Since 2008, Big Dog Ranch Rescue has saved the lives of more than 50,000 dogs. According to their website, the mission is "to save 5,000 dogs every year, to heal and place them with loving families, to educate people about the proper care for dogs and the importance of spaying and neutering."