It all started Friday morning when a truck pulled off Al Bishop Drive, the road to many Cobb County service buildings, and suddenly released a dog as it pulled away from Cobb County Animal Control, officials said.
Animal control officers immediately set a trap to capture the stray dog, and within minutes she climbed in. However, when the officers went to retrieve her out of the cage, the dog wiggled loose.
The dog ran loose all night and morning despite repeated attempts to coax it away from the road.
Thompson, 14, and her best friend, Hannah Williamson, 14, instantly spotted the scared puppy as they arrived for Saturday’s Adopt-A-Thon at the county shelter.
Thompson and Williamson said that they tossed bits of food and called out as the dog began to sneak closer until eventually wagging her tail and coming to their outstretched hands. Volunteers then ran out with a leash and brought the eight-week-old puppy inside.
Two hours later, Thompson finally convinced her father to take the new puppy home.
Making new friends
During Saturday’s event, each time an animal was adopted, the staff rang a cowbell. However, on the overcast afternoon, fewer than 20 animals had been taken home after two hours.
Keeping the cats indoors during the spring Adopt-A-Thon did not keep Linda Williamson away from her goal of taking home a new furry friend.
“We came in specifically to get one,” said Williamson, who had not planned on adopting two identical male black kittens, each with a white strip running down the nose.
Williamson said her 12-year-old cat had died the day before, but could not say her late pet’s name before breaking into tears.
The new additions will be brought home to a family with three dogs, three cats and a foster dog that Williamson said would be leaving today.
“I have the word sucker written across my forehead,” said Williamson, as her kittens that the shelter volunteers dubbed “the twins” responded with high-pitched calls.
Going to the dogs
Operation Manager Billy Mayfield said it is normally the late hours of the day when final decisions are made by visitors and many animals are placed in cardboard carriers to make the trip home.
Conducted twice a year, the facility was able to place 14 cats and 22 dogs Saturday.
The majority of the dogs available were pitbull mixes of various coloring, from tiger-striped to white with big black spots.
A supporter had prepaid the costs for a three-legged pitbull, but “we can’t give it away,” said animal control officer Jason Knowles.
There were varieties that are often sold for hundreds of dollars by breeders, such as a 2-year-old Siamese cat named Ash and a 4-year-old Maltese named Armani.
The adoption fee during Saturday’s event was $85, which is normally $115, and includes the cost of spaying or neutering, a microchip, needed tests, and a round of shots.
Along the hallway were discounted cats, including one for $20 that was nearly 7 years old.
Alternatives for pet owners in need
A day designed to place shelter animals in loving homes resulted in 9 cats and 9 dogs being turned over by current owners to Cobb County Animal Control, according to Mayfield.
Mayfield said the animal shelter staff, including the 30 volunteers that worked during Saturday’s event, encourages those people to keep their pet, offering assistance with food from Cooper’s Cupboard, a local pet pantry.
Mayfield also mentioned Ahima House, an emergency program for abused animals, which also places animals in a foster system when owners have a temporary problem, such as a hospital stay or being evicted from their home.
Some animals are abandoned for being unruly, but Mayfield said the owners are often uneducated about the physical and emotional needs of that breed.
Mayfield praised a Marietta kennel named Dog School 101, which offers group obedience classes and “Puppy Manners” courses, for giving each adopting family a $25 gift certificate.
The energy of the day was felt through the animals’ excitement from getting attention, said Mayfield. He added that anyone who is not able to adopt a pet is encouraged to come to the shelter during normal operation hours to visit with the dogs and cats.
“Stimulation is what they need,” Mayfield said about those who remain after the day’s adoptions were completed.