County approves foster program for animal shelter

Following approval of a foster program, animal shelter animals could be seen at more events like Movie Night at The Avenue from last June. All three dogs that went to this event with shelter volunteers were adopted soon after. (Staff Photo by Christopher Dunn)

‪In an effort to expand opportunities for adoptable pets to find homes, the county’s animal shelter received approval for a fostering program at Thursday night’s County Board of Commissioners meeting. ‬

Animal Control Director Jerry Collins presented the policy to the board that would allow for an animal to be taken from the shelter for one day up to a maximum of 60 days. The length of the animal’s stay outside of the shelter will be at the discretion of Collins or his staff.

The foster must be a shelter volunteer in good standing, and their home must pass an inspection. The foster also must sign a waiver to be considered.

“It’s an effort to allow some of our animals to leave the shelter to go to homes to get some more exposure with families,” said Collins. “It also gives them an opportunity to go to different events and to have volunteers at the shelter take them. That way it’s not causing a lot of stress on staff.”

The program would allow animals to leave the shelter for special events around town, allowing potential adopters to meet them in a different environment. Previously, volunteers would have had to return the animals by early the following morning.

Collins referenced a movie night event at The Avenue where three dogs went with volunteers.

“I was very nervous that day, but it worked out very well, and all three dogs got adopted (soon after),” said Collins.

Stephanie Cohran, President of the Fayette Humane Society, expressed her organization’s support.

“We think it will cut down on a lot of stress on the animals and give them a lot more visibility in the community,” she said.

Collins cautioned that the days spent with a foster family would still count against the animal’s tally of 30 days at the shelter as it relates to the euthanasia policy, but County Administrator Steve Rapson clarified that the animals in homes within the foster program would not count toward’s the shelter’s 85 percent capacity number. Currently, policy dictates that the shelter can only kill adoptable animals if they meet both the capacity limit and that animal’s stay passes the 30-day threshold.

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Christopher Dunn has been the sports editor for Fayette Newspapers since 2011, in addition to running Fayette Game Day magazine. He is a graduate of Fayette County schools, as well as a graduate of Georgia State University with a degree in journalism. Follow him on twitter @fayettesports.


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