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Dachshund finds new life at Hall County 911 center
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Leigh Stallings-Jarrell stops to scratch Holly’s belly Tuesday afternoon at the Hall County Emergency Services 911 Center. The rescued dachshund lives at the center and soon will help teach kids about safety.

Holly’s is a real Cinderella story.

When the little dachshund was rescued from an animal cruelty case, she was malnourished and pregnant and her fur was falling out.

She spent months at the Hall County Animal Shelter where she was nursed back to health.

Though she was making progress, she still wasn’t adoptable and her time at the shelter was running out.

“It just broke my heart,” said Hall County Public Safety Director Marty Nix, who had taken a special interest in the little dog. “I thought, we’ll figure something out. Let me take her to the 911 center.”

Nix originally intended on fostering Holly at Hall County’s 911 center until he could find someone to adopt her. But before long, so many people wanted to take care of her that they decided to let her stay at the office.

“She really likes it here,” Nix said. “She brings a lot of joy to the people here.”

There are employees working at the 911 center 24 hours a day, and Holly enjoys making her rounds through the different offices to welcome workers at the beginning of each shift.

“We have people buying her different treats and toys,” Nix said. “It’s hilarious.”

But Holly isn’t the only one who has benefitted from the new arrangement.

Sandra Clark, quality assurance coordinator with Emergency Medical Dispatch, said she has especially enjoyed having Holly around the office. She has bought her little outfits and toys and takes her to the Laurel Park dog park to play with other dogs.

“She’s the joy of dispatch,” Clark said. “She’s just done wonders for this place.”

Emergency dispatch can be a stressful business and employees say Holly helps them stay calm.

“That room can be gloomy, but Holly lightens it up,” Nix said.

“Even the officers comment on how relaxed we all seem to be since we got her,” Clark said.

Holly has been at the 911 center since Dec. 1 and is getting used to the routine. She even attends shift meetings and may soon have a job of her own to do.

Operations Manager Leigh Stallings-Jarrell thinks Holly would add a fun component to 911 education.

“We’re very involved in Gainesville-Hall County Safe Kids. We do safety programs with them and we’re thinking about bringing her along for those,” Stallings-Jarrell said. “Kids love animals and it actually helps them pay attention.”

Though the 911 center may seem like a strange place for a dog, Nix said she fits in quite well. She doesn’t bark or chew on things and enjoys having so many people to visit.

“She doesn’t get in the way and she’s very quiet,” Nix said. “She’s a great little dog.”

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