If you are thinking about getting a pet, start your search at your local animal shelter. Dogs and cats face death at the shelter. Even puppies and kittens can be put down at almost any time.
Don't want a mutt? Purebred animals enter municipal shelters all the time, and many die because of it. While you can look online at Pefinder and PetHarbor, not all of the animals available at a shelter may be listed. Your best bet is to visit the shelter in person.
Mutts, or mixed breeds, very often have better stamina, overall health and personality than some purebred dogs. Not all, of course, but many.
A mix of dachshund and basset hound, for instance, may have that stubborn dachshund disposition tempered by the congenial basset hound side. A Jack Russell terrier mixed with a less active breed may remain compact yet be easier for a less active owner to handle.
All three shelters stay at or close to capacity. While rescues work feverishly to pull as many dogs and cats as their own sheltering or foster network can handle, the community's response is lagging behind.
Rescues can't do it all.
Adoption fees at Monroe County Animal Control are only $30, and Jones County AC charges $60 to $95. Adopters must have the pet they adopt from these shelters spayed or neutered if they are not "fixed" already, and low-cost options for this surgery are available in our area.
Adoption fees at Macon Animal Control are $75 for all pets, and the animal is spayed or neutered before the pet goes home. Several prepaid adoptions are available. All you have to do is pick out your pet and fill out some forms.
Rescues not only pull dogs and cats off death row, they simultaneously work to adopt out the animals already in their care so they can make room to save even more. It's a never-ending process that takes time, money and effort.
The population of all three counties is large enough to support a higher percentage of adoptions than is currently seen at the shelters. Residents looking for a new pet too often look on Craigslist, breeders or flea markets and pet stores that may get their puppies from puppy mills.
Contact Monroe County Animal Control at 478-994-7976 or visit the shelter at 157 L. Cary Bittick Drive in Forsyth. Call Jones County Animal Control at 478-986-1427, or visit the shelter at 395 Eatonton Highway (Hwy. 129) in Gray.
Macon Animal Control is at 1010 Eleventh Street, off Lower Poplar, behind the landfill's weigh station and office. Call them at 479-751-9200.