The facility, operated by the county marshal’s bureau, recently began offering $10 adoption fees for dogs and cats on Fridays in addition to its “Save a Life Tuesdays” on which it had been offering the discounted rate since mid-2012.
Capt. LeAnn LeHolm, who heads shelter operations, said the facility on Industrial Boulevard North near Braly Sports Complex typically does euthanizations on Tuesdays. That fact prompted operators to offer $10 fees to encourage adoptions on that day – though it led to unintended consequences, LeHolm said.
“We sort of shot ourselves in the foot,” she said. “Everyone wanted to wait until Tuesday to adopt.”
The adoption fee includes insertion of a microchip and a coupon for a $20 discount on spay and neuter services. The new owner must agree to have the procedure done on the animal and provide proof of a current rabies vaccination, said Sgt. Tony Collum, who assists LeHolm in the shelter management.
The county can offer the discounted fee because of donations, LeHolm said. The regular fee is $50.
The county-maintained shelter only has spaces for 173 animals. Officials work to keep the shelter under 75 percent capacity because of sometimes wide fluctuations in numbers of animals coming into the facility, Collum said.
Because of limited space, the shelter routinely approaches its capacity and potential owners waiting to adopt only one day a week left the population to grow on other days of the week.
“There’s never a time during the week we don’t approach [75 percent],” Collum said.
The shelter “may adopt out five and bring in 10 to 15,” LeHolm added.
Not surprisingly, demand tends to spike during the holiday season when shelter animals are adopted as gifts. The number of animals coming in also fluctuates, but tends to spike in the spring — especially with cats.
LeHolm directs operations of the county animal control department. The department maintains a “humane shelter environment for lost and unwanted animals, which it cares for until they are adopted, reclaimed by their owner, rescued, or humanely euthanized,” the county government web site states.
Other than LeHolm and Collum, the department includes a staff of 10 including administrators, shelter technicians and road officers.
According to the Paulding County government web site, it is responsible for the enforcement, investigation, and prosecution of violations of the county animal control ordinance.
The shelter is open to the public Monday, Saturday, and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Tuesday and Friday, 2 to 7 p.m. It is closed Wednesdays, Thursdays and holidays.
For more information, call (770) 445-1511 or visit www.paulding.gov.