Full animal refuge; adopters and foster homes needed

The Coweta Animal Services shelter remains near or at full capacity these days, and officials hope to encourage more people to adopt dogs and cats.

Meanwhile, local rescue organizations are in dire need of more people to welcome dogs and cats until they can be adopted.

The shelter has been organizing a special adoption offer for several months, with a fixed adoption fee of $ 25. The costs include sterilized or sterilized surgery, vaccination and an electronic identification chip.

It is a huge value. The vaccines alone would cost $ 25 to $ 30 from a low-cost supplier; microchips typically cost $ 25 or more, and dog sterilization surgeries can cost hundreds of dollars, depending on the provider.

And people adopt. But not enough to cope with the constant influx into the shelter.

The shelter’s planned capacity is 92 dogs and 92 cats. By closing the access door between the indoor and outdoor sections of the dog courses, the facility can accommodate 132 dogs.

By Thanksgiving week, the shelter had 132 dogs and 87 cats.

“We’ve been in the high 120s and lows 130 for a month,” said Lt. Thomas Bush, supervisor of the shelter. “We are doing what we can to get them out. We need more adopters.”

Many seem to no longer want their pets

Animal control officers are picking up large numbers of stray animals, and Bush said he suspects there may be Cowetans who adopted early in the COVID-19 pandemic who no longer want their animals company and throw them in the streets.

When officers see or receive a call about a stray animal, “we do everything we can to keep it out,” said Bush.

They are scanned for a microchip in the field and, if the animal has one, the owner is contacted.

“We’re going to sit down and wait for the owner to come back so we can get in touch with them,” Bush said.

If they can’t reach the owner by phone, they’ll send a letter.

“We are doing everything we can to return it to the owner,” he said.

The shelter does not accept ‘owner returned’ pets, but local relief has been inundated with calls from people wanting to abandon their animals.

“I have to get five calls a day from people wanting to get rid of their dog,” said Gail Lustig of Hearts’ n Homes Rescue.

The reasons vary. Lustig said she got a call from a man who wanted to get rid of his 10-year-old lab he had since he was a puppy. He and his wife had just had twins and they didn’t want the dog around the babies.

Lustig said the man didn’t say the dog had issues with the babies or been aggressive, they just didn’t want him anymore. Another man was looking for new homes for five Chihuahuas.

Rather than taking in animals that people no longer want, Lustig said they would much rather help people with the resources they need.

“We are happy to help people with boxes, food, vaccines,” she said. “If you don’t have the money to afford it, we can help you,” she said.

She said if someone could keep their pet if they were just spayed or neutered, she would have a lot of people willing to cover those costs.

The Newnan-Coweta Humane Society can also help people keep their pets with various resources. The NCHS operates a pet pantry and can offer assistance with behavioral problem training. The organization can also help people pay for sterilization and sterilization surgeries and other medical care.

“We want these people to be able to keep their pets as much as possible,” said Katie Whittington, NCHS Canine Team Director.

“But most of the time, people have already made the decision,” said Linda Earhart of the NCHS. “We tried to help with the training, the litter issues, the bite issues and give them some ideas of what they can do. But our biggest problem is that at that point they do. are done with that. ”

Need foster homes for dogs and cats

Often times, rescues simply cannot accommodate animals anymore because they do not have enough foster homes for them.

Fostering can also be a great way to decide if you want a pet. The problem is, many adoptive parents fall in love with their pets and decide to keep them. And that’s great. But “we are all losing our homes this way,” Lustig said.

If there were more foster families, they could remove more dogs from the shelter, Lustig said.

The Newnan-Coweta Humane Society is pretty much in the same boat when it comes to foster families. NCHS welcomes both dogs and cats, while Hearts’ n Homes is strictly a dog rescue.

“NCHS and Hearts’ n Homes both need more foster homes to attract more pets,” said Sandy Hiser of NCHS.

Many of the small rescue and aid organizations that once served Coweta are no longer in business, putting more pressure on NCHS and Hearts’ n Homes.

Last year, the NCHS welcomed more than 600 cats and kittens and around 100 dogs, Earhart said. She said she expects a total of around 500 cats this year.

A greater variety of dog breeds at the shelter

In recent years, the overwhelming majority of the dogs at the shelter were pit bull mixes and Staffordshire terrier mixes, but this is not so much the case anymore. There is more variety in breeds and sizes.

Rescues work with the shelter in several ways, including during adoption events. Hearts’ n Homes recently hosted an adoption event in Senoia and took some shelter dogs to the Governor’s Mansion for an adoption event. None of them were pits, Lustig said. Adoptable dogs will also be featured in the Newnan Christmas Parade.

Extension of treatment for heartworm

The shelter sees a large number of dogs with heartworm disease. The shelter has started treating all new dogs with heartworm disease with the slow kill treatment. They also treat dogs that are already at the shelter, adding 10 dogs per month.

The slow killing treatment, known as the ‘moxi-doxy protocol’, uses a combination of 30 days of treatment with the antibiotic doxycycline and monthly treatment with topical moxidectin, one of the active ingredients in Advantage. Multi.

It can take up to a year or more to completely clear a dog of heartworms, but slow killing treatment is much more affordable and accessible than traditional treatment with arsenic-based injections. It can also be a lot easier for the dog.

Coweta Animal Services is located at 91 Selt Road in Newnan. Adoption hours are 10 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday; and from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday. Animals for adoption can be viewed on PetHarbor.com. For more information, call 770-254-3735.

For more information on Hearts’ n Homes, visit Heartsnhomesrescue.org or call 917-873-7408.

For more information on NCHS, visit www.nchsrescue.org.