Old soul, too slow but loves to go: Paw Paw, with John King, was one of the first dogs rescued by Two by Two.


When Sonya King began feeding stray dogs on the streets of Helena, Alabama, in 2002, she noticed another concerned citizen was also leaving food. Sonya left a note for her. The note was found, the two met and combined their efforts to rescue the many stray dogs dodging traffic.

Their efforts continued to grow and Two by Two was formed as a 501(c) 3 in 2005. The goal of the rescue is to save the lives of unwanted, abused, and abandoned animals, care for them until they find their forever homes, and educate the public about responsible pet care.

The animals of Two by Two Rescue are saved from almost certain death in a society where animal shelter euthanasia is common and generally accepted. Dogs and other animals are considered Two by Two’s for life. If an adopter is no longer able to care for their pet, they are legally bound by their adoption contact to return the pet to the rescue.

Two by Two has quickly grown to coordinate the rescue and adoption of dogs, cats, horses, and a few pot-bellied pigs. Adoptions have taken place in 24 states other than Alabama. Donations support the rescue and come from all over the world in response to the life-saving work of Two by Two.

The rescue has not neglected its roots. Volunteers return almost monthly to the neighborhood that once supplied most of the stray population. Built on positive relationships, the rescue offers residents food, vaccinations, dog houses, veterinary care, as well as spay or neuter services.

Pictured is Redford who went from the streets of Alabama to living large in Maine with picnics on the beach.


Two by Two is a no kill rescue that exists to give life to all abandoned, abused, stray and distressed animals without regard to age, breed, color, or medical condition, and to keep pets in their homes by offering relief to people in crisis.


We envision no-kill shelters in every community, strong legislation for spay/neuter, breeding licensing, non-tethering, and humane treatment, and mandatory school education on the proper care and treatment of animals.


We value the lives of all animals. We are committed to creating a model No Kill community that can be replicated in other parts of the state and country. We provide compassionate and comprehensive support for pet owners. In carrying out our mission, we strive to raise awareness of our model as we adhere to these core operating values:

  • Mandate: we have a Biblical mandate to care for animals.
  • Compassion: we interact with all animals and pet owners/fosters with compassion, dignity, and respect.
  • Flexibility: we are flexible in our response to the needs of the community and its adoptable, feral/unowned pets.
  • Integrity: our representatives, whether staff or volunteers, are honest and dependable and conduct their work with the utmost level of integrity and respect.
  • Partnerships: we strive to establish and nurture strong partnerships throughout the community and consider these partnerships vital to creating and maintaining a No Kill community.
  • Privacy and confidentiality: we respect the sensitivity of information provided by pet owners, adopters, fosters, and community partners.
  • Responsiveness: we understand the time sensitive nature of rescue work and seek to respond to all issues in the most efficient, effective, and timely manner possible.
  • Safety and well-being: we consider the safety and well-being, both physical and emotional, of all adoptable, feral/unowned pets in the community a priority among our many responsibilities.

No Kill Movement

Two by Two is part of the No Kill Movement with a goal to end killing for all animals who are not irremediably physically suffering, rigorously defined. This principle applies to all species of animals, including, but no limited to, companion mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds, aquatic animals, “farmed” animals, and wildlife. Irremediable suffering is defined as an animal who has a poor or grave prognosis for being able to live without severe, unremitting physical pain even with prompt, necessary, and comprehensive veterinary care.