Whitfield County to step up animal control with new building


A new building for the Whitfield County Animal Shelter far more than tripled its get the job done area, allowing extra space for its function finding great residences for the county’s unwanted animals — and decreasing that populace via spaying and neutering.

“If you stay in Whitfield County, owing to the generosity of the commissioners, you can get your pet or cat spayed for $20,” shelter Director Diane Franklin said. “So that is our objective: to end pet overpopulation.”

Franklin said it truly is obligatory in Whitfield County for animals to be spayed or neutered if they’re older than 6 months. Enacted in 2018, the regulation suggests animal homeowners can be fined if their animals are not in compliance. The regulation would make exceptions for licensed breeders and animals medically unable to have the straightforward course of action.

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Personnel Picture by Andrew Wilkins / Jevin Jenson (still left), chairman of the Whitfield County Board of Commissioners, and Diane Foster, director of the Whitfield County Animal Shelter, pose Friday with a dog in the course of the grand opening celebration for the shelter’s new building.

At that selling price, there are no excuses for not obtaining your animals spayed or neutered, stated Jevin Jensen, chairman of the Whitfield County Board of Commissioners, who was standing in the vicinity of Franklin at the opening celebration Friday. As an operator of many rescue pet dogs, he claimed the shelter is a person of his “passion projects.”

The shelter was built with the support of Specific Intent Area Option Product sales Tax cash, Jensen stated.

“It is really not a multimillion dollar facility, it really is $200,000,” he claimed. “We experienced to get donations, we experienced to get volunteers, we had our personal employees doing work on it. It can be really a local community work to remain on-spending budget with inflation and provide chain challenges.”

The facility was designed to be at ease for the animals, but Jensen stated it is also “heat and inviting” for local community members coming to uncover a pet to undertake. The constructing is adorned with multiple animal-themed murals by community artist Mayelli Meza. Quite a few of the pets of shelter employees had been showcased in the murals, introducing to the local community feel of the shelter.

A member of the four-individual shelter employees, Whitney Weaver, explained prior to the new setting up opened, workers experienced to do anything in the exact space. Healthcare strategies, employee foods and local community customers conference animals all took place in the similar office, she explained.

Her beloved aspect of the new setting up is the professional medical region, Weaver reported, in which all the things the personnel demands can be saved structured. She said she does a number of employment at the shelter, but transportation coordinator is her key work.

Franklin stated the outdated office was “run down” and only about 500 square feet. The new creating — designed especially for the shelter — is 1,800 square toes, she reported.

When Franklin initially commenced at the shelter in 2017, about 60% of the animals introduced in were euthanized. Now employees members euthanize no a lot more than 4%, and their purpose is to come across a good property for each and every animal. She claimed the shelter has crafted interactions with rescues all more than the nation — but she and Jensen agree that minimizing the unwanted animal population by way of spaying and neutering is an vital section of their method.

(Examine Additional: Animal get rid of costs increase amid Whitfield County shelter squabble)

Animal shelter representatives will be in the county’s parks all summer months endorsing their spay and neuter system, Franklin said. Goodie luggage will be available at those local community outreach situations, she claimed. The shelter also just obtained a $10,000 grant from the Section of Agriculture, which Franklin explained will help staff members members spay and neuter much more animals.

The Whitfield Animal Shelter, at 156 Gillespie Generate in Dalton, can be attained at 706-278-2018.

Jensen thinks much more community customers will undertake animals due to the more welcoming area, and he stated he hopes that implies much less assets are diverted to transporting animals out of the county. He mentioned he is self-assured the two-pronged approach of adoptions and a sturdy spaying and neutering system will be successful to minimize the shelter’s animal inhabitants.

“Amongst the adoptions and the spay/neuter system, we ought to never ever have to extend (the facility) all over again,” Jensen mentioned. “This is our prolonged-expression dwelling.”

Shelia Extensive, identified by her friends as Cricket, said she appreciates the perform of the animal shelter. She and her husband run a rescue in Dalton referred to as A further Working day Rescue and explained all the animal-similar businesses in the county cooperate perfectly collectively to uncover properties for animals. She came to the opening to assistance the shelter’s operate.

“I hope we can discover residences for all the undesirable animals if people can open up up their hearts and give them a very good house,” Prolonged said.

Contact Andrew Wilkins at awilkins@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6659. Follow him on Twitter @tweetatwilkins.


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