Too Many Lives Depend on One Volunteer

Too Many Lives Depend on One Volunteer

The Heard County Animal Control building is a small cement building, just to the side of the Police Department. It has a long history of controlling the animal problem in Franklin, Georgia by killing unwanted animals.

Enter Dawn, a tiny, determined, miracle worker of a woman who is the volunteer unofficial rescue coordinator for Heard County and is pretty much single-handedly responsible for saving the dogs who land in their shelter.

She used to volunteer in a shelter closer to her home in LaGrange, but she took a full-time job at the local elementary school and could no longer volunteer because the shelter was only open 10-2 each day.

SIDE BAR: Shelters that have restrictive hours like this are unlikely to have a robust adoption or volunteer program. They will also struggle with reclaims, as most people can’t get to the shelter during those hours to look for their dog or adopt a dog or volunteer. More people-friendly hours is one simple change that can have a profound effect on the live release rate of any shelter and on the quality of life for the animals in its care.

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Together We Can Let the Dogs Out

Together We Can Let the Dogs Out

After nearly two weeks in Georgia and Florida (with one quick stop in NC), we are home and I’m sifting through all that we learned.

The chorus of too many dogs and not enough adopters, resources, or rescues were variations on the same theme. Just like other trips, we met heroic rescue coordinators, shelter directors, ACOs, kennel techs, and volunteers sacrificing selves and sanity to save dogs.

The biggest challenge continues to be changing minds and hearts. BSLs, ordinances, and prejudices condemn too many dogs regardless of the individual animal. Ignorance, culture, and too often access/affordability stymie efforts to spay and neuter to control the endless stream of puppies and kittens.

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