No Kill Paulding was created in August 2012 when Brauer sought to join a local animal advocacy group and could not find one, she said. There are currently eight members of the group, she said.
The organization models its plan on 11 steps from the No Kill Advocacy Center, a national group.
The steps include volunteering; a rescue partnership; foster care; trapping, neutering and releasing, which fixes feral cats and releases them back into their natural habitat; organizing a comprehensive adoption program; providing medical and behavior rehabilitation; pet retention; public relations and community involvement; proactive redemptions; high-volume, low-cost spay and neuter; and compassionate, dedicated leadership.
These steps work together to reach the goal of making a county a “no kill” area, Brauer said.
“Volunteer is the key step of no kill,” Brauer said.
Members of the group volunteer with the animal control department. They also foster animals at their homes, she said.
“We are finding the more people that find out about this, the more they want to help,” Brauer said.
The group wants to keep all healthy and treatable animals from being killed, she said.
Also the group will put pictures of the animals on their website, nokillpaulding.com, and on their Facebook page, facebook.com/NoKill.PauldingCounty.
“We are finding the animals aren’t unwanted — they are unknown,” Brauer said.
However, Capt. LeAnn LeHolm of Paulding County Animal Control department said the county has ordinances against a trap, neuter and release policy because its job is to control the stray animal population.
The group is pushing for more adoptions. The county recently lengthened its shelter hours to make the animals more accessible to adopt.
“It was their idea for longer hours,” LeHolm said.
LeHolm said her department is open to No Kill’s idea, but there are some areas which will not work because the county shelter is not a humane shelter.
Dogs that have bitten humans, feral cats and animals which are sick have to be euthanized, and animal control cannot keep animals if there is no room for them, she said.
In January there were 99 animals adopted, 17 reclaimed and 31 released to rescue groups.
A total of 38 were euthanized, including nine turned in by their owners, and four feral cats. The majority of others were dogs that bit, LeHolm said.
The county only records totals, and does not record percentages for animals euthanized, said Sgt. Tony Collum of Animal Control.
Both Brauer and LeHolm agree they do not believe anybody wants to see animals euthanized.
“You can’t save all animals, like you can’t save all people,” Brauer said.