♦ Adoption hours at the shelter, located at 5488 N. Marbletop Road. in Chickamauga, are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Phone: 706-375-2100. Facebook: facebook.com/WalkerCountyGAAnimalShelter
♦ The Walker County Animal Shelter is taking animals in by appointment only at this time.
♦ The largest portion of animals entering the shelter are owner surrenders — animals whose owners no longer want or can support their pets. Many of these dogs and cats are pregnant or have puppies or kittens.
♦ Joe Legge, Walker County public relations director, says that the shelter’s capacity depends on many things, including how big dogs are, behavioral issues and whether dogs get along well enough together to share a pen.
♦ Ten pens at the shelter are reserved for dogs that bite or have other behavioral issues.
♦ The shelter closed on June 20, the day before an inspection that found numerous problems that have since been corrected. Since the shelter reopened on Aug. 1 (up until Aug. 27), 156 animals have been brought into the shelter and 146 animals have left — sent to rescues or adopted.
♦ In 2017, the shelter bought a van for transporting animals to rescues in and out of state. The van was paid for with donations and cost $30,188.50. “This morning (Aug. 27),” says Legge, “the shelter transported 22 puppies to Nashville and earlier this month transported 30 dogs and one bunny rabbit to a rescue in Kentucky.”
♦ The annual budget for the shelter is $300,000, which is $34,000 more than in 2015.
♦ T♦ he shelter employs five full-time and two part-time employees.
♦ “In late 2017,” says Legge, “the county adopted a policy that all animals being adopted out of the shelter must be spayed or neutered first. We include the cost of spay/neuter and vaccination as part of the adoption fee. It is not an extra charge. We have also worked to promote low-cost spay/neuter facilities in the region, such as Chattaneuter in Chattanooga and My Kids Have Paws and the National Spay Alliance Foundation in Dalton.”