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Homeless pets get a little holiday love
Volunteers give time to animals
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Days before Christmas, homeless animals were treated to a little holiday cheer Saturday at the Hall County Humane Society.

Andrea Chandler and Christina Jones, employees at the Gainesville office of A.G. Edwards & Sons Inc., treated the pets to play time and toys with the help of other volunteers. Chandler and Jones both said they are animal lovers and felt that those at the Humane Society deserved a Christmas treat as well.

"We get gifts for our own pets," Jones said. "These animals don't get that."

Started in 1913 by a Hall County teacher, the private, nonprofit shelter is one of the oldest in the state. The shelter can house about 150 animals and some 13,000 animals are brought in each year, according to the Humane Society's Web site.

Jones and Chandler e-mailed friends and co-workers, encouraging them to donate or volunteer their time. The pair raised more than $200 to fund the gift-giving and started the day with a trip to PetSmart to purchase cat and dog toys.

Volunteers also were allowed to donate brushes, treats, food and other items. A group of several volunteers spent much of the afternoon playing with and walking the animals at the Hall County Humane Society at 845 Ridge Road.

Among the volunteers was A.J. Vargas, an employee of the Gainesville Police Department. Vargas owns several dogs himself and was willing to volunteer a few hours. He said brought his daughter along to make sure every dog got to play.

Chandler said the day was a definite success.

"The animals are absolutely happy," she added.

Chandler and Jones both are long-time volunteers for the Humane Society of Hall County. Last year, they raised $4,000 for the Humane Society with their annual Dogs of Hall County Dog Show. The next dog show will be Oct. 5.

Jones urged that "everyone should volunteer or donate" to the Humane Society. She views animal abuse and overpopulation to be a growing problem.

The shelter's adoption fee for dogs and cats, whether full grown or juvenile, is $70.

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