Every animal needs a loving, caring home. At the Carroll County Animal Shelter (CCAS), that is exactly what the employees strive to accomplish. The shelter has been helping place homeless and stray animals for nearly 25 years.
The animals that come to CCAS get there in a variety of ways. Some of the animals that come in are strays caught by animal control, others are strays found by members of the community and sometimes if an owner is no longer able to properly care for their pet they surrender them to the shelter. A maximum of 260 animals can fit within the kennel, and CCAS also has fields and other fenced areas outside the facility where they can also keep animals.
On average, pets spend about eight weeks waiting to get adopted, but sometimes it can take longer than six months. The shelter has a partnership with the local radio station where an adoptable dog will “guest star” on a segment to gain some attention, and they often host adoption days on the square to see if fate brings a family to adopt their newest member.
The shelter is also open to more than just cats and dogs; they have a wide range of animals, including rabbits and ferrets.
“We have two goats out in the front field, and we just had six horses, three donkeys and nine pigs,” said Lisa Barrett, manager of CCAS. “We are an open admission shelter, so we take everything.”
The volunteer program at the shelter is in place for people in the community who are willing to donate their time to help socialize the animals.
“The volunteers are not required to help feed or clean at all,” said Barrett. “You just come in and fill out a waiver of liability, go through a brief orientation, and then you just come and go as you please within our operating hours to play with the animals.”
Due to Georgia state laws restricting the sale of animals under eight weeks old, some animals brought to CCAS need to be placed in foster care until they are old enough to be adopted out. If the shelter cannot find a foster family to take them in, the employees will take them home. During the fostering period, foster parents bring the pet to CCAS for vaccinations and vet care. Once the pet reaches eight weeks old, they are spayed/neutered and put up for adoption.
“It is very simple to become a foster home for animals,” said Barrett. “We provide all the vaccines and food. You just have to provide a place for them to grow up.”
There are two bonding rooms available at CCAS, which allow visitors to spend one-on-one time with an animal they may be interested in adopting. Once a visitor decides they are ready to adopt a pet, they must fill out the appropriate paperwork at the front desk.
The adoption fee at CCAS for dogs is $120 and includes the spay/neuter surgery, a 1-year rabies shot, a da2ppv shot (canine distemper/parvo vaccine), heartworm test, deworming, microchip and 30-day pet health insurance. For cat adoptions the fee is $100 and covers the spay/neuter surgery, a 1-year rabies shot, an fvrcp shot (feline distemper/upper respiratory vaccine), test for feline aids and leukemia, deworming, microchip, and 30-day pet health insurance.
Occasionally, CCAS will discount the adoption fee in an effort to encourage adoptions.
“Generally, September is a slow month for us, so we are running a special,” said Barnett. “Over the last three years we’ve averaged around 65 adoptions in the month of September. This year we’ve already adopted out 94.”
Placing every stray animal in a loving home is what the employees at the Carroll County Animal Shelter strive for. They do their best to care and provide for all the strays they house and hope to save as many as they can.