Charlotte Nash, Chairman Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners

It’s been a wild summer at Gwinnett’s Animal Welfare and Enforcement Center.

Last spring, we got word that our shelter was among 50 finalists in the national ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge. The goal is to beat our own adoption-rate record from last summer by as much as possible and win cash prizes for the shelter. 

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Our staff was already on a roll inspired by a new manager, Gwinnett Police Sgt. Chip Moore, who took the reins two years ago. The number of animals the shelter euthanized dropped from 7,850 in 2009 to just 2,467 in 2013. That effort recently won recognition from the National Association of Counties in the category of County Administration and Management.

To step it up another notch or two this summer, staff and volunteers went to heroic lengths to find new homes for homeless pets. A proactive series of adoption events brought people together with ready-to-adopt animals at various venues around the county. 

In July, a successful third annual Adoption Explosion kicked off with a motorcycle ride fundraiser followed by a free car show and kids’ activities to help draw families to the shelter.

The shelter also reduced adoption fees for the summer – $30 for dogs and $20 each for cats or two for $30. Adoption fees include spay/neuter, the first round of vaccinations, and a microchip.

We saved 563 animals in June compared to 416 during the same month last year. Final numbers for the remainder of the summer – and the competition results – were not yet available at deadline. The contest ends on August 31.

Win or lose, we’ll need to continue spay/neuter, microchip, and rescue and adoption programs in order to manage our pet population here in Gwinnett. Homes and volunteers will always be welcome. 

To learn more about the shelter’s service or to view current pictures of adoptable dogs and cats, go to www.gwinnettanimalcontrol.com.