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These sleeping pooches now relax on comfy beds
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A sleepy dog wakes up from a nap at the Hall County Animal Shelter Saturday afternoon. Chris Latona raised money to help buy beds for every dog at the shelter. Former Atlanta Falcon DeAngelo Hall donated the last $1,000 to complete the project.
Call it a touch of home in an otherwise unfamiliar place.

The Hall County Animal Shelter has finally finished outfitting all of its 177 dog pens with cot-style beds.

"It makes me feel good for everything we managed to accomplish," said Chris Latona, the volunteer behind getting the dog beds to the shelter.

Latona collected $6,000 through donations after she learned that there was nothing for the dogs to sleep on at the new shelter.

"The dogs there, they were suffering by sleeping on those floors and lying on those floors, and now that they have those beds, it gives them some level of comfort," she said.

The project went in two phases, the first of which was finished in February. Latona collected $2,700 from neighbors and friends and was able to purchase beds for the large dogs in the kennel.

She then set her sights on the small dogs, but donations were running thin.

"We were about a $1,000 short," she said. "I was kind of at my wits end to where I was going to come up with the last $1,000 to get the beds done."

One chance day, however, Latona happened upon an old friend: former Atlanta Falcons cornerback DeAngelo Hall.

"I was grocery shopping and I heard my name being called. I turn around and it's DeAngelo Hall," Latona said.

Latona first met Hall after he came to Atlanta after being drafted in the first round of the 2004 NFL draft. Latona was working for a builder at the time Hall and his wife were purchasing a home.

"I started telling him about the dogs and the shelter and he couldn't believe the dogs slept on the floor like that. Within two minutes of our conversation he said, ‘Chris, you come by my house later and I'll write you that check.' "

Latona couldn't believe her good fortune.

"That pushed us over the top," she said "A little prayer got answered with that last $1,000."

Because of the kennel size, the beds had to be specially made. Latona ordered them from the same man in Gafney, S.C., who built the large dog beds.

"The good thing about those beds are they're built to last for years where they could put new covers on them and that sort of thing," she said

"Thousands of dogs will benefitting from those beds over the course of the years."

With the little bit of extra money, Latona bought rawhide bones for the dogs in the shelter.

"It gives them something to do," she said.

Lotona said she is grateful for all the monetary help she received, but also the kind words of the community.

"So many people also sent a note or a card and it was very heart warming to get those words of encouragement," she said.

"The people from Gainesville really took the time."


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