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Humane Society of Northeast Georgia reflects on successful adoption year
Lily Wynne, 10, spends time socializing puppies at the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019. Lily made an agreement with her mother, that if she got all A's on her report card and volunteered for a year then she could adopt a puppy. - photo by Austin Steele

At the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia in Gainesville, every adoption is a success story. 

In 2018 1,388 animals entered the Humane Society, and 1,337 found their forever home that year. 

The number of adopted animals includes 399 dogs, 124 cats, 500 puppies and 295 kittens. Erica Sheppard, the Humane Society’s animal services director, said the remaining amount accounts for small mammals like rabbits and ferrets. 

While many of the animals are adopted as soon as they receive the proper treatment like vaccines, and spaying or neutering, others remain in the facility for a long period of time. 

Sam Threadgill, development director at the nonprofit, said the Humane Society recently adopted out a dog that stayed there for a year and four months. 

She said the dog, Beau, was surrendered after his owner died. When Beau entered the facility, he quickly took residency in the staff’s hearts. 

“We made an announcement over the intercom, ‘Everyone Beau is going home,’” Threadgill said. “Storms of staff came to run to make sure they got to say goodbye. At least four of us cried. Success stories are the ones that make it worth it. I can tell you every person here has that passion.”

Although the nonprofit aims to adopt out their animals as quickly as possible, the staff also make sure the dogs and cats are going to the right home. Threadgill said she didn’t mind the extra time spent on adopting Beau because he found his perfect family.

The nonprofit’s current largest intake includes adult dogs. A couple of years ago Threadgill said the facility mostly received puppies. She accredits the decrease in puppies to the past three years of having a low-cost spay and neuter clinic, and two staff veterinarians.

Peggy Michael, a volunteer at the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia, walks Violet, a resident at the Humane Society, back inside on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019. "I love just playing with them and seeing the joy in people’s faces when they find a dog." said Michael. - photo by Austin Steele

Threadgill said the nonprofit’s adoption center accommodates anywhere from 50 to more than 150 animals at a time. 

The Humane Society of Northeast Georgia is a selective admission facility that doesn’t euthanize its animals. 

The dogs and cats that come into the Humane Society are either surrenders, from rescue groups or those pulled from shelters that euthanize animals due to lack of space. 

The nonprofit provides a variety of services including a wellness clinic with low-cost vaccines, spay and neuter center and adoption rescue efforts.

“We’re not just serving pets in the community, we’re serving the people who own them,” Threadgill said. “And hopefully helping them keep their pets healthier because they’re able to afford those basic needs.”

As a private, nonprofit organization, the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia relies on donations and grants to stay afloat. 

Without its volunteers and donations, Threadgill said the nonprofit wouldn’t survive. The Humane Society has 200 active volunteers. 

Peggy Michael, who has volunteered at the nonprofit for two months, said she enjoys spending time with the animals twice a week.

Her job entails socializing the dogs and making sure people are properly prepared to adopt. 

“I love just playing with them and seeing the joy in people’s faces when they find a dog,” Michael said. 

For those interested in volunteering or making a donation to the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia visit

 or call 770-532-6617. The nonprofit is located at 845 West Ridge Road in Gainesville.