Thursday, April 5, 2012
North Georgia Animal League serves Walker County as an educational resource on controlling pet overpopulation.
The league represents Walker in a 16-county effort that works with Wally’s Friends to decrease the unwanted pet population through low cost spaying and neutering. The reason is 5,000 pets roam each county annually, oftentimes picked up by Animal Control.
NGAL members make appointments for Wally’s Friends to pick up Walker County dogs and cats the second Wednesday of the month at 8:15 a.m. at the Agriculture Building on the Walker County Civic Center campus. The next pickup day to transport pets to Wally’s Friends is Wednesday, April 11.
Wally’s Friends workers take pets to Red Bank to be spayed and neutered. The owners return the next day at 7:15 a.m. to pick up pets at the Ag Building.
NGAL Chairman Virgil Sperry said the procedure at Wally’s Friends costs $45 to $50, which is at least half price in comparison to a veterinarian’s office. The league pays for pets to be spayed or neutered at Wally’s Friends or reimburses families with vet receipts half of the cost they paid. NGAL has reimbursed 20 people over the past 12 months, said Sperry.
He said NGAL members think that preventing unwanted pregnancies is the best way to control the pet population.
“Even if you’re not into big brown eyes and a wet nose, every pet that goes into a shelter costs taxpayer dollars,” said Sperry. “Last year, Wally’s Friends probably prevented 25,000 animals from being born. Four hundred pets in Walker County were spayed and neutered by Wally’s Friends in 2011.”
He said the league also works closely with Walker County Animal Shelter manager Alison Smith. NGAL pays for adoptable animals at the shelter to be spayed or neutered and receive their shots. The league performs yard work at the shelter as well. Recently, NGAL donations helped purchase a commercial washer and trampoline-style pet beds for the shelter.
“Alison gets pets turned in because people can’t afford to take care of the pet,” said Sperry. “The North Georgia Animal League offers to take care of the pet by supplying food. If we can bring food and keep the pet in the house, it keeps it from running the risk of being put down if it’s not adopted.”
The league encourages residents to bring their pets to the dog park at Walker County Civic Center.
“We know we’ve got a lot of people that care for animals in Walker County,” said Sperry, adding that he hopes to inspire more of them to join NGAL. “Paws Pets Grooming Service stays booked two weeks in advance.”
North Georgia Animal League has eight members on the roll but needs more members to help, he said. The league meets the second Tuesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. at the Ag Building.