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Humane Society starts expansion to pet wellness clinic
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Dr. Jaime Feroli, medical director at the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia, smashes a wall with a sledgehammer during a demolition demonstration at the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia in Gainesville, on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018. Plans are underway for an interior renovation and redesign that will expand the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia's pet wellness services. - photo by David Barnes

One after another, a handful in hard hats aimed their sledgehammers at the orange “DEMO” in orange written on the wall inside the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia.

The wall-shattering demonstration was part of the humane society’s announcement of an expanded pet wellness clinic inside the West Ridge Road facility.

“Our volume of our clinic has grown to the point where we need to have more space to be able to offer that to clients,” executive director Julie Edwards said.

The 1,800-square-foot clinic will be called the Christian-David Healthy Pet Clinic following a “signature gift” from Murray and Daphne David.

A lifelong cat and dog owner, Murray David said he approached Edwards about getting involved.

“I’ll donate to any worthwhile cause, and this is certainly one,” he said.

The humane society will take down a pair of walls to open up space for the waiting area. There will be three exam rooms and a clinical team work area which will be overseen by Dr. Summer Andersen. Andersen will join the humane society in March as associate veterinarian.

Medical Director Dr. Jaime Feroli estimated the number of people coming in for pet vaccinations tripling in the past three years.

“I think a lot of that is just educating the public,” she said.

Edwards said many of the people visiting the humane society are often from low-income families or older citizens on a fixed income.

“One of the things that is sort of near and dear to my heart … is when people have to choose between caring for their pet or paying for food or medications. We’ve seen people come in that need to surrender their pet or don’t have the means. This gives them an option at least for some services to have a little bit lower cost so they can take care of their pet and also take care of their family,” she said.

Construction will start this month, and Edwards gave an estimated grand opening in mid-April.

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