Pet drop-offs increasing; local shelters, clinics don't have room

By: Ashley Jeffery Email
By: Ashley Jeffery Email

News 12 @ 6 o'clock -- November 10, 2008

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Joy Hall has nine new mouths to feed--a litter of pit bull puppies. Now she's trying to figure out where the money's going to come from to feed them all.

"It's kind of hard to give them away or try to sell them, because they're like family," she said.

Loretta Emmons, the owner of Heartsong Spay and Neuter Clinic, says Hall's struggle is all too familiar.

"These are animals that have no other life but with their families and they're being turned in to rescue, and it's just a really sad situation," Emmons said.

Emmons says abandoned puppies are becoming far too common, left outside in boxes in front of their doorstep.

A cat named Elvis was adopted out through the shelter, but because of the economy, he was returned.

"Unfortunately, as with everything with the economy, when people downsize their homes, we also lose volunteers. We lose foster care homes because now they don't have room to foster so we're faced with trying to find placement for these animals," said Emmons.

For Hall, abandoning her animals is not an option. She's going to do the next best thing. She will sell the ones she can to good homes and keep the rest.

"One of them will be leaving soon and I don't want it to go but it's going to a good home and I'm glad because I can't afford it, but they can afford it now," said Hall.

Emmons urges pet owners to get their pets spayed and neutered in order to cut back on overpopulation. She also says be patient and get on a waiting list. She says try to hold on to your pets for as long as you can until they can make room and find volunteers to house the pets.

Heartsong is the only low-cost spay and neuter clinic in Columbia County and they serve the entire CSRA.


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