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In a new year, animals look for new homes
Hall's animal shelter aims to place more in 2010
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A puppy is dried off after a bath Thursday at the Hall County Animal Shelter. The facility has taken in more than 1,700 animals since it opened in October. - photo by Tom Reed
Hall County Animal Shelter
Where: 1688 Barber Road, Gainesville
Adoption fee: $65, including spaying/neutering, vaccinations and deworming
Other services: Rabies vaccinations ($10), spay and neuter clinics, microchipping ($20)
More info: 770-531-6830

The month of free pet adoptions has ended, and the new Hall County Animal Shelter is ready to return to regular business for its first full year of operation.

Since Nov. 1, approximately 220 pets have been adopted from the shelter, said the animal shelter’s adoption and volunteer coordinator Gwen Trimmer. But the adoption numbers are nowhere near the number of pets the shelter has taken in since it opened in mid-October — 1,771 cats, dogs, birds, rabbits and exotic pets.

The bigger number includes the 275-odd pets that were in the shelter Wednesday, and because of the number of animals that come into the shelter daily, Trimmer said the shelter routinely has to euthanize pets to make room for others.

“We pretty much stay full,” Trimmer said. “Hall County has a huge pet overpopulation problem.”

Animals are euthanized at the Hall County Animal Shelter every two or three days because of the shelter’s space limits, Trimmer said.

One of the shelter’s goals is to adopt more pets in 2010, Trimmer said. A few off-site mini-adoptions were successful in 2009, and Trimmer said she hopes there will be more in the new year. She says the shelter tries to keep adoption fees low to make adoptions more feasible for residents. The fee is $65, and includes necessary shots, a spay or neuter and a microchip installation.

“We know it’s very hard economic times for everybody,” Trimmer said.

“Any shelter always wants to adopt more, because the more you adopt, the more lives you’re saving,” Trimmer said.

Part of realizing that goal means increasing the public’s awareness of the new shelter. Located on Barber Road where the nearest business is a bail bondsman, Hall County’s new animal shelter is a bit “off the beaten path,” Trimmer said.

“That’s an objective we have for in the future is to bring more awareness into the community where we are located.”

But mostly in the new year, Trimmer wants the Animal Shelter, only a few months old, to perfect its operation. A shelter volunteer has started a drive to raise money for dog beds in the shelter to keep the dogs from having to sleep on the concrete floors, and Trimmer said she hopes the shelter can hold more rabies and microchip clinics in 2010 to help with owner identification of lost pets.

“We know we’re going to have a lot of animals coming in,” Trimmer said. “We try to provide them the best care and we try to provide a service for the citizens of Hall County. That’s what we’re here for ... and we know that we’re a new shelter and ... we’re learning and we need volunteers and we need the community’s support.”

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