Among the biggest victims of the economic recession are the once beloved family pets surrendered to shelters as their owners deal with extended joblessness. The U.S. Humane Society estimates 6 to 8 million dogs and cats enter shelters each year – and 3 to 4 million are euthanized.
“We don’t have firm numbers but we know anecdotally that the communities that have been hardest hit by the economic downturn are seeing that reflected in their shelter intake numbers,” says Inga Fricke, director of sheltering issues for the U.S. Humane Society. “And, unfortunately, while the majority of the public is in favor of adopting pets from shelters, very few – usually about 20 percent – actually do. That has recently gone up slightly to the mid-20s.”
With the warmer weather on its way and already taking hold in the state of Georgia, many allergy sufferers are already stocking up on medication and neti-pots to get them through the season. While you plan ahead for the yellow pollen that is sure to coat Georgia soil in a few weeks, don’t forget about your pets. Pets are just as prone to seasonal allergies as people and can suffer through severe itching and other problematic symptoms during the season.
Atlanta Animal Rescue Friends (AARF) is a comprehensive animal welfare organization in DeKalb County. AARF was founded in 2002 as a 501(c)3 organization licensed by the Georgia Department of Agriculture. Since 2002, AARF has saved the lives of over 1000 pets from euthanasia at county shelters. AARF is a no-kill organization, which means they never euthanize pets, except in extreme circumstances where a pet is suffering from untreatable pain or illness. AARF also offers a spay/neuter program to assist pet owners with the cost of altering their pets, a humane education program for children, and a seniors-for-seniors pet program.
That’s a cardinal! There’s an American goldfinch! Wait, do you hear a blue jay? America is going to the birds…literally. Birdwatching, also known as “birding” amongst true enthusiasts, is the fastest growing hobby in the United States, second only to gardening.
In July 2008, Twan, a DeKalb County Police canine, was shot in the face while investigating a rob-bery on Moreland Ave. Twan was transported to the North DeKalb Veterinary Clinic on Lawrenceville Hwy., where he was stabilized and his life saved. Twan is back on the job today, thanks to Dr. Max Katz and his staff, who have been caring for DeKalb County’s Police, Fire, Sheriff’s Dept. and School System canines for the last four years.
Ahimsa House was named a winner of Toyota’s 100 Cars for Good program and received a brand new 2011 Toyota Highlander Hybrid on December 20 for use in transporting pets to safety from abusive situations. Decatur-based Ahimsa House is Georgia’s only nonprofit dedicated to addressing the connec-tions between animal cruelty and domestic violence. Forty-eight percent of domestic violence victims delay escaping abuse for fear the batterer will kill their pets. Few domestic violence shelters allow pets.
The Decatur Bulldog Boosters would like to let the Decatur dog-loving and running communities know of the 7th Annual Decatur Bulldog Boosters 5K “Run with the Dogs” on Saturday, January 7th at 9:00 am. The race will feature a single 5K race where runners and dog-owners can run with (or without) their dogs. T-shirts, awards, and treats will be available to race participants as well as a sporty “race”-kerchief for canine participants.
Furkids, Inc. (www.furkids.org), one of the most successful nonprofit animal rescue organizations in the southeast, is joining forces with a respected leader in the Atlanta rescue community, SmallDog Rescue & Humane Society (www.smalldoghumane.org).