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Humane Society holds contest for new name, logo
Braselton residents Ashley Culwell, left, and Deanna Echauri visit one of the puppies up for adoption Tuesday afternoon at the Humane Society of Hall County. The Humane Society of Hall County is holding a contest to find a new name and logo with the winner receiving $250.


Rick Aiken, president of the Humane Society of Hall County, explains why the organization is changing its name.

As it prepares to cut its ties to county government, the Humane Society of Hall County is seeking a new identity.

The nonprofit organization is running a contest to select a new name and new logo. The competition is open to the public, with an entry deadline of Oct. 1.

Society president Rick Aiken said the group actually has been discussing a name change for years.

"A lot of people confuse the Humane Society of Hall County with Hall County Animal Control," he said. "They think we’re one and the same."

The confusion is understandable, considering that Animal Control’s offices are inside the Humane Society’s building. The society also runs what is essentially the county animal shelter, because it has a contract with local government to take in any stray pets brought in by Animal Control.

But as of July 1, 2009, both of those arrangements will come to an end. The society informed county government this summer that it would not renew its contract. By July, the county either will have to operate its own shelter or hire someone else to do the job.

The society’s board of directors made this decision, Aiken said, because they were frustrated at having to euthanize about 8,000 animals each year due to lack of space. Starting in July, the society will operate a "selective admission" shelter, only taking in animals that appear to have a good chance for being adopted.

Aiken said it will not be a 100 percent "no kill" shelter, but euthanasia only would be performed under certain circumstances, such as if an animal is seriously ill or aggressive.

Aiken said the group’s future name might still include the words "humane society," but not the words "Hall County."

"It’s not a slap at Hall County," he said. "We just want to make it clear to people that we are not a county agency."

He said the current name has been an obstacle to fund-raising.

"People would say, ‘Why should I give to the Humane Society? Y’all are a county agency.’"

In addition to the name change, the society wants to drop its pawprint logo in favor of something new.

"The current logo is fine," Aiken said. "But we just want to make a fresh start and get the public interested in what’s going on."

Prizes of $250 each will be given to the winners of the name and logo contests. Aiken said the new name probably will be announced sometime in November.

Meanwhile, county officials are well aware that they have just nine months to learn how to run an animal shelter.

"Right now, the county administration is doing general research on animal shelters," said Hall County spokeswoman Nikki Young. "They’ve been touring shelters in nearby counties."

She said they’ve also been evaluating properties the county owns, trying to decide on where would be the best place to put a new animal shelter. The county can’t afford to purchase additional land for the project.

"It will definitely be on existing county land," said Young, adding that there would have to be some new construction. "There really isn’t a county building that could be converted (into an animal shelter)."

Young said county officials hope to be able to announce a general plan for the project within four to six weeks.