It’s said, “An Animal Control Officer’s job is the product of the citizen’s responsibility.”
Everyone sees the Friends of the Gordon County Animal Shelter Facebook page and tends to over-react at the number of animals that are euthanized, but not much has changed from previous years. More than 5,000 animals were accepted into the shelter in 2011 and only 2,886 were put to rest. It seems like a large number, but people are unaware that the number was 500 less than the year prior.
Only 57 percent of the Gordon County Animal Shelter’s intake was euthanized. Considering that the euthanization rates for most shelters are between 80 to 90 percent, Gordon County is doing pretty well. The shelter is dealing with a problem that resulted from owners not taking responsibility themselves. Employees and volunteers are doing as much as they can to cut the intake numbers by promoting spay and neuter.
“The people of the community don’t understand that when you dump animals on the side of the road, it doesn’t help matters. Even those citizens that give animals away from various parking lots are creating a problem. The animals that are given away aren’t spayed/neutered and it becomes a never ending cycle,” shares an employee.
In response to all of the finger pointing, Wes Duncan, Gordon County Animal Control officer states, “Shelters can have all the good intentions in the world; they can build bigger, nicer facilities, and make all the policies that they want. But without active participation on the part of the public, shelters will always run out of space for animals, and the supply of wanted dogs and cats will always out number the demand. Under such conditions, a ‘No Kill’ community cannot be achieved.”
In an attempt to promote spaying and neutering, the Gordon County Animal Shelter has partnered with Wally’s Friends, a non-profit organization stationed out of Redbank, Tenn. The remote transport travels to Gordon County frequently and accepts the shelter’s adoption certificates for 100 percent of the spay/neuter cost. Wally’s Friends also offers worming shots, micro chipping, and other procedures at a low cost rate at the time of surgery. Not only does spaying/neutering deter an over-population issue, it also helps prevent the spread of diseases between animals, including rabies. Gordon County has had three rabies scares this year. In order for an animal to be spayed/neutered, it must have an up to date rabies shot. The more spaying/neutering is promoted, the more rabies vaccinations are administered.
In the month of May 2012, approximately 590 animals have been accepted at the Gordon County Animal Shelter, of those 69 were adopted, 80 were rescued, 25 were carried over, 18 were reclaimed, 1 escaped, 1 died in cage and 396 have been euthanized.
For volunteer information and more information on Wally’s Friends, contact the Gordon County Animal Shelter at (706) 629- 3327. The shelter and Wally’s Friends accepts all donations including monetary, crates, blankets, towels, cleaning supplies, newspaper, etc.