Working at home has its good and bad points.  The good points: great view of the woods out my office window while I work, I can do laundry while I write or edit stories, Midgie (my dog) supervises my every move, and the cats get to play outside.

Bad points: I get cabin fever and become starved for human conversation. I end up talking to my cats like they’re co workers…kinda like moms home with toddlers all day, you forget how to have an adult conversation that doesn’t involve discussing the finer points of scoopable cat litter.

So when I was asked recently to lend my rescue expertise to a new group in town wanting to improve conditions at our local animal shelter I was thrilled…’adult conversation AND discussions on scoopable cat litter!’

They really are trying and I have to give them credit.  They’re determined to help the animals up here and we have lots of them.

Our local shelter is an aging doublewide about the size of my kitchen.  It houses twelve kennel runs into which are stuffed up to five dogs at a time.  Once in, the dogs never see the light of day and are euthanized after five.  98%  kill rate for both dogs and cats.

No adoption program, no vaccinations, no testing, no spay/neuter program, nada.

The cat room is a six cage pen on wheels. Each cage is tiny and they’ll cram up to two large cats in a space not big enough for one.

It’s a death house.  Its safe to say most of the dogs and cats that go in, never come out.

A couple years ago, I went before the city commisison and petitioned to start a shelter auxiliary, which we did.  But Toccoa never honored their end of the MOU to pay for shots and testing. We ended up spending most of our time trying to get those dogs and cats transferred into other no-kill rescue groups in Georgia.   I finally gave up when the original twenty volunteers was down to four and only two of us were actually doing anything.

That’s how I ended up with three of my current felines…fostering kittens, several of which never got adopted.

So when this new crop of “concerned citizens” stepped forward last spring, I was encouraged.  This being a popular vacation area, we have more people moving here permanently from other parts of the state and country.  They’re expecting a level of animal control/humane services the good ol boys up here don’t get. And now they’re pushing for change.  More power to em.   They want to take the old county jail building and turn  it into a new shelter facility.  They have a tough row to hoe, but I support them all the way.

Maybe they’ll be able to get the good ol boys to listen.

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