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Hall County animal shelter advisory board to help organize volunteers
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The base for a new outdoor shelter has been graded at the Hall County Animal Shelter next to the quarantine pens behind the facility. - photo by NAT GURLEY

A newly formed advisory board has been put in place for the Hall County Animal Shelter, just as plans have been announced to add a second transport shelter to its building.

“We started doing transports several years ago,” advisory board Chairwoman Susan Allen said. She explained that animals have to be quarantined out of the shelter for two weeks before they can be sent to other states for adoption events.

The option to send animals to other states allows up to 30 to be adopted at one time, which is a significant increase from the one or two that may be adopted at local events, she said.

Grading is being done now for the second outside transport shelter. Allen said she was not sure what the total cost of the project would be.

Beyond assisting with fundraising, the main purpose of the advisory board is to provide basic support to the shelter wherever needed, particularly in coordinating the volunteers.

“We have volunteers come and go,” Allen said. “Sometimes they’ll be short-staffed as far as getting animals walked, things like that.

“We just thought it would be easier to have a board that would help organize volunteers,” she added. Now, there are around 15 people who volunteer their time at the shelter, mostly on the weekends.

The other advisory board members are Karen Walker, Peggy Baxley, Amber Mull Cahill, Julie Henson and Linda Long.

“You know, many of us have full-time jobs and I think a lot of people don’t volunteer because they feel like they have too many other things going on in their lives,” Cahill said.

She said potential volunteers shouldn’t worry about what they can do, but focus on what help they can offer.

The advisory board will help with some fundraising efforts, including the upcoming Harvest Balloon Festival on Oct. 19, but it will also focus on encouraging more community involvement.

“We go in schools to do education with kids,” Allen said. “We have Eagle Scouts earning their Eagle badge by doing projects, we’re talking to a Girl Scout troop right now that wants to come in and earn their bronze medal by doing something.”

She added that tours for the public can be scheduled, and the group is also on Facebook.

It will be providing assistance with the Spay/Neuter Coalition’s outreach to Hall County on Saturday at Mulberry Creek Park in Flowery Branch. The coalition offers free spaying and neutering services to Hall residents. For more information on the outreach event, visit SpayNeuterCoalition.org or its Facebook page under Spay/Neuter Coalition.

“I think, for us, it’s just raising awareness for volunteering and making it so everything is all about the animals,” Cahill said.

For more information on volunteering at the Hall animal shelter or on the advisory board itself, email hcsheltervolunteers@gmail.com.

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