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About Us

Augusta Dog Adoptions (formerly Chains Hurt) was formed in 2006. Our goal at that time was to advocate for a tethering ban in the City of Staunton, Va. We did presentations to City Council about the dangers of chaining and worked closely with Staunton Animal Control to provide straw for chained dogs and to take the ones released by owners into our program. Staunton passed an ordinance limiting the time dogs can be tethered in 2009! While working in the community our concern shifted to the number of dogs who were being euthanized in the shelter. As our numbers of fosters and supporters grew, we took as many as we could into our program!

In 2011, Shenandoah Valley Animals Services Center opened to serve the homeless animals of Staunton, Augusta and Waynesboro, Va. We put all our efforts into helping them save as many dogs as possible while they built up resources and staff.


Today, we focus on helping shelters in VA with the highest kill rates. In 2017, we partnered with Patrick County Animal Shelter who had the third highest kill rate in Va. That is where the majority of our dogs come from and we are happy to say that we have helped their save rate skyrocket! Long time members of The Virginia Federation of Humane Societies, in 2020 we received their Compassion Award in recognition of our life saving work in Patrick County. The Compassion award was named in memory of Pearl Twyne, who founded the Virginia Federation of Humane Societies in 1959. This award recognizes a Member organization or individual who has demonstrated extraordinary leadership qualities and whose accomplishments reflect the mission of VFHS to end the euthanasia of healthy and treatable dogs and cats in Virginia.

We are an all-volunteer, 501c3 rescue group that takes in and adopts out dogs that are transferred to our organization from local shelters and high-kill pounds throughout Virginia. We are based in Augusta County, VA and do the majority of our adoptions in Waynesboro, Va.

Augusta Dog Adoptions does not have a physical shelter. Dogs are “fostered” by volunteers at their personal residences until an adoption match is made. We provide rehabilitation and veterinary care to all dogs in our foster program prior to adoption. We take in a lot of dogs with medical needs that municipal shelters cannot afford to treat! That's why your donations are so important!

Our Team

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Amy Hammer


Amy Hammer co-founded Chains Hurt in 2006, and has played an active role with Augusta Dog Adoptions for many years.  A former Animal Control Officer, Amy brings a strong knowledge  Virginia animal welfare law to our organization, She was instrumental in the opening of the Shenandoah Animal Regional Service Center where she worked tirelessly helping animals in our community until a full time director was hired. In 2011, she received The Humanitarian Award from the Virginia Federation of Humane Societies. This annual award is presented to an animal control officer who has established a positive relationship and maintained the safety and health within the community, who has made a significant impact on improving the image of the animal control profession within the community, and who has demonstrated overall excellence in the performance of his or her job.

Amy resides in the quiet mountains of Highland County with a peaceful mind and a house full of dogs

Alisha Hammer


I was taught by my mother Frances Hull at an early age to come to the aid of animals in need.  Growing up on a farm in rural Highland County, I always had lots of rescue dogs and cats throughout my childhood. I was a founding member of Augusta Dog Adoptions (formerly Chains Hurt). I performed a variety of tasks with Chains Hurt such as bookkeeping, fundraising, and delivering straw and dog houses to chained/penned dogs throughout the area through the Straw for Paws program.

I serve as the Treasurer for Augusta Dog Adoptions and also care for hospice fosters.  I share my home with my four legged children: Rose the pit bull, Luke the Mountain Fiest/Mountain Cur mix, and three cats named Sylvia, Fat Mittens, and Jorge.

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Sally Williams

Vice President

I am currently a Board Member of Augusta Dog Adoption, previously Chains Hurt. I have 27 years of experience in dog training, rescue, rehabilitation, and showing in the sport of agility. I have  taught basic obedience for dogs and puppies through Augusta Parks and Recreation,  and have assisted with testing of CGC (Canine Good Citizen, AKC).

My passion in life is Border Collies. I recently had to say good bye to my prize rescue Border Collie, Skylark (pictured). We shared many years together, and among my fondest memories are when Skylark was able to advance to the highest level of agility in AKC, MACH Skylark (Master Agility Champion). My other rescue Border Collie is East of Eden. She just turned 9 and is a very high drive, crazy Border Collie.

I have been able to take my Border Collies and Border collie mixes from neighboring shelters that have gone on to compete in agility. My house is always full of a variety of dogs with a variety of needs. I enjoy working with dogs with behavioral problems and finding them forever homes.

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