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MARLTON, N.J. (CBS) — An animal rescue group made its way home to Marlton to mark the end of a special trip. Animal Aid brought home its 25,000th rescue.

A caravan of canines packed inside nearly a dozen vans, pulled into a driveway in Marlton on Sunday morning, ending a 1,600 mile round trip to rural Georgia.
That’s where volunteers rescued more than 270 abused or abandoned dogs.

“They need a lot of love,” Animal Aid volunteer Robike Noll said. “And what’s amazing to me is these dogs come out of the worst conditions and they’re so happy. You think they’re unapproachable and they’re like oh my gosh, love.”

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Animal Aid is the nonprofit that organizes the monthly trips. This is the group’s 100th trip, culminating in 25,000 rescues since the organization began in 2011.

“It’s exhausting physically, mentally,” founder Karen Talbot said. “People ask us how we keep doing it, but you take one trip down there and you see the conditions and the mentality and then when somebody asks me, the answer’s always ‘how can you not do it?'”

Still, volunteers with Animal Aid admit the work never gets easy.

“It’s a frustrating battle for sure,” volunteer Denise Lynn said. “But it is a worthy one.”

And after getting medical treatment, the animals will be placed in foster homes or non-kill shelters in the Tri-state area.