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Gwinnett Animal Shelter: A welcoming place to find a furry friend

 This month I’m pleased to report that the Gwinnett Animal Shelter continues to transform. Management of the facility moved from the police department to community services in April 2017. The staff is now led by Alan Davis and two deputy directors, Vern Sawyer and Chandler Giddes. The news below is from an update they presented to the Board of Commissioners recently.

Charlotte J. Nash

Adding a full-time veterinarian at the shelter was a top priority that has already been accomplished. Davis and his staff are also working to establish better policies and procedures for treatment and testing of animals at the shelter.

I’m happy to say that we were able to put more money in this year’s budget for outreach activities, such as adoption events and low-cost spay/neuter clinics. The shelter staff wants to be more visible by participating in events like the Atlanta Pet Expo and Yappy Hour.

Last year, 1,468 animals were returned to their homes, 2,441 found new homes through adoption, and 1,682 were saved by rescue groups. The live release rate in 2017 was almost 96 percent. At press time I learned that more than 419 animals were adopted from our shelter in June of this year alone!

Pet adoptions are free on Fridays this summer and all available pets have already been examined, treated, vaccinated and spayed or neutered. The shelter, at 884 Winder Highway in Lawrenceville, opens for adoptions at 11:00 am every day except Sunday. Closing hours are 6:00 pm Monday through Wednesday, 8:00 pm Thursday (through October), and 4:00 pm Friday and Saturday.

Remember that adopting an animal makes you responsible for the care, feeding, exercise, and medical attention. In return, you get a loving pet who will become very much a part of your life and your family.

Looking ahead, we’re already thinking about how to expand the animal shelter staff and facilities to meet the needs of our steadily growing population. We want our shelter to be as inviting, professional, and friendly as possible. More than 10,000 people now visit the shelter each year, including many families with small children looking to adopt a pet.

To see pictures of currently available dogs and cats, visit www. and click on “available pets.” You’ll also find lots of information there about adopting and caring for pets, animal ordinances, dealing with everything from rabies to strays to suspected cases of abuse, and even how to get involved. If you have time to devote to the animals at the shelter, consider joining the ranks of volunteers who donated 6,422 hours last year.

Dogs and cats are often the most devoted and loyal friends a person can have. I know that’s true of my Oscar. If you are looking for a furry companion, be sure to keep the Gwinnett Animal Shelter in mind.