Animal shelter seeking homes for dogs ahead of renovation


By Jason A. Smith
Times Correspondent


For local residents who have always wanted to own a dog, now may be the best time to get one from Henry County Animal Control.



Henry County Animal Control must find homes for all of the dogs in their care before renovations begin. Photo by John Jackson



The agency is in the midst of an Adoption Push Campaign to find homes for dogs and puppies this month. The department’s facility, at 527 Hampton St., in McDonough, is scheduled to undergo renovations for its kennel areas beginning May 1, said Director Gerri Yoder.

“We have three main kennel areas, and the walls are concrete blocks,” said Yoder. “In a shelter situation, if that cement is not sealed, the water or liquid absorbs into the concrete like a sponge. Over time with cleaning and dog activities in the kennel, the latex has started to peel off the concrete, so the walls have to be re-sealed.”

The kennel walls will be coated with a new epoxy to protect the animals from disease. The renovation project also calls for sandblasting the kennels, applying the epoxy and allowing time for the product to cure.

“Latex paint is not an extremely durable coating, so we are going to be using a commercial-grade wall coating that’s anti-microbial, that acts as a permanent bacteria and fungal barrier,” said Yoder. “In order for this product to be put on the walls, there can’t be any dogs in the kennel. This is actually a product that is designed to keep disease at bay, and it’s designed to be long-lasting. We don’t want to do anything to damage the viability of the product once it’s put on the walls.”

The renovations are funded under SPLOST IV at a cost of $57,728, and will be performed by Stonhard, a commercial wall-coating company in Atlanta. While the project is ongoing, Animal Care and Control is curtailing its services for taking in dogs, accepting them only in the case of bites or medical emergencies for dogs in which no one comes forward to take responsibility. By April 13, the shelter will only be taking in emergency cases.

“We certainly understand that this is going to be a hardship to our citizens,” said Yoder. “We want to get it started and completed as soon as possible.”

Yoder expects the shelter to return to full service by the end of May. She encouraged rescue groups and local humane organizations, as well as residents interested in adopting a dog or puppy, to visit the shelter this month. To defray adoption costs, her department has reduced adoption fees from $65 to $35. The fee covers the cost of a distemper/parvo vaccine, an intranasal kennel cough vaccine, a prepaid rabies certificate which can be used at area veterinarian offices and a preregistered microchip.

Yoder emphasized that fostering is not an option because doing so could potentially open the County to liability if something goes wrong with a dog during the fostering period. Rescue groups, on the other hand, could take a dog for placement with a foster family.

Dogs available for adoption can be found online at www.henrycounty-ga.org/animalcontrol or though www.adoptapet.com.