After 24 years operating under the name Catoosa Citizens for Animal Care (CCAC), the animal rescue group has voted to change its name.

CCAC is now North Georgia Animal Alliance (NGAA).

"We wanted something that reflects the whole area we work in," says NGAA president Emily Sadler. "Also, there was the longstanding problem of people confusing us with Catoosa County Animal Control, which also goes by CCAC."

Sadler says NGAA will continue to do the work it’s done for over two decades and plans to expand the ways in which it helps homeless animals and struggling pet owners throughout the north Georgia area.

At NGAA’s October board meeting, attended by 18 of the group’s members, Sadler said, "We discussed working on ways to increase the spay/neuter rate of animals in the area. That would go a long way in reducing the number of animals that end up in shelters. We’ve helped hundreds of people get their dogs and cats spayed or neutered over the years and we’d like to help many more."

NGAA has been focusing much of its recent efforts on working with the Walker County Animal Shelter to help find homes for dogs and cats. The group also works with rescues and shelters in other counties in the North Georgia area and partners with rescues in other states to transfer animals when homes cannot be found locally.

"It’s 24/7 work," says Sadler. "But it’s worth it. Most of our volunteers work full-time jobs. They come home at night and feed and walk animals, clean up after them and play with them. They go to Petsense to clean out cat cages, transport animals to vets, tend to wounded animals, go to the shelter to take pictures and get animals we have foster spots or families for. They plan and run fundraisers, take care of finding all the supplies we need, like pet food, litter, medicine, towels and blankets, and deliver them to the fosters who need them. We have a lot of paperwork we have to keep up with. We have a great group of really hard-working volunteers, but we always need more – more people, more donations, whatever sort of help anyone can give."

Sadler says the group's former name may remain on its website and social media for a little longer, but it does not affect donations. "People can still contribute. For anyone who would like to get more directly involved, donate, or become a foster or adopt an animal, they can call our hotline or message us."

North Georgia Animal Alliance can be reached at 706-937-2287 or by typing North Georgia Animal Alliance into the Facebook search box. Monetary donations can be sent to: PO Box 5484, Fort Oglethorpe, GA 30742 or contributed through PayPal. Donations of food, litter, towels, blankets and other supplies can be dropped off at Petsense in Fort Oglethorpe, VCA Catoosa Animal Hospital in Ringgold or K-9 Tubtime in Ringgold.