How to help
Volunteers are needed to walk and bathe the dogs to help get them prepared for the drive to Connecticut April 28. The dogs will participate in the Shelter Pet Expo in Hartford May 1-3.
Contact: Shelter Veterinarian Meghan Seabolt at 770-531-6831 or email@example.com to sign up, or just show up at 1688 Barber Road to help.
Sixty dogs are getting ready for the road trip of a lifetime.
Dogs from the Hall County Animal Shelter will travel Wednesday evening to an adoption expo in Connecticut, where they hope to find loving homes.
Meghan Seabolt, veterinarian at the shelter, said the dogs and puppies that have been selected to go to the expo are now in foster homes.
Sixty dogs will go to Connecticut, though about 75 eventually will be adopted. Seabolt said many people decided to keep the dogs they initially agreed to foster, allowing more shelter pets to make the trip to the expo.
“It’s been really neat watching people fall in love with them,” Seabolt said.
Seabolt said it was a tough process selecting the dogs for the expo.
“All the kids that are going to Connecticut are running out of time here at the shelter,” Seabolt said. “We went on length of stay if we thought they’d be good adoption candidates.
“Our biggest issue at the shelter here is time and space.”
Seabolt said volunteers are needed Wednesday afternoon to help bathe, walk and feed all 60 dogs in preparation for the trip.
“It’s been a great experience getting all this together,” Seabolt said.
At last year’s Shelter Pet Expo, more than 350 animals were adopted.
Frederick Acker, founder and executive director of the SPCA of Connecticut, said there are far fewer homeless pets in the Northeast.
“If you’re looking for puppies in a municipal shelter, you can’t do it,” Acker said. “By the same token, there are families looking for puppies for their kids.”
Acker said many shelters in Connecticut are occupied by older dogs or breeds like pit bulls that are not popular with families.
“Primarily they’re full of dogs that are considered less adoptable,” Acker said.
Acker said many people still want to provide a home for animals in shelters, but they want to make sure it’s the right dog for their lifestyle.
“People want to adopt and they’re frustrated with the adoption process,” Acker said.
That scenario is unfamiliar in the South. Shelters and rescue groups across the region are overrun with animals that are highly adoptable. Unfortunately, there often isn’t enough time or space in the shelters for all of them to stay.
“There’s a huge surplus in the South,” Acker said. “The answer is humane relocation.”
Acker said that for the last two years the group has put on the Shelter Pet Expo, people from surrounding states like Maine, Vermont
and New Hampshire have driven into Connecticut and waited in line to see the dogs.
“These are quality adopters,” Acker said.
Acker said Southern rescue events have caught on in other places around the Northeast.
Another county in Connecticut held a similar three-day adoption event with wild success.
“They could not even open Day 3; there were no dogs left,” Acker said.
Acker said the primary reason there are fewer animals in New England Shelters is cultural differences. More people spay and neuter their pets and far fewer animals are allowed to roam on their own and reproduce.
“The irresponsibility factor is substantially lower,” Acker said.
All the dogs are spayed or neutered, microchipped and have all vaccinations. The adoption fee is $325, which is split with participating shelters like Hall County.
The fees will cover the cost of transporting animals in a box truck from Hall County to Connecticut.
“Hopefully we’re going to find homes for lots of Hall County dogs,” Acker said.