Pickens County Animal Control Director Cindy Wilson with one of the dozens of cats and kittens at the Camp Road shelter.
Pickens County Animal Control Shelter Director Cindy Wilson has only been on the county payroll for two months, but already she sees the need to beef up public education about the importance of spaying, neutering, and other animal care basics.
“I’ve always known education about spaying and neutering was a huge problem,” said Wilson, wife of Hill City Elementary School Principal Dr. Carlton Wilson and 30-year manager of metro-Atlanta banks. “Now I feel a big responsibility to help other people learn how to keep their animals
healthy with heartworm medicine and rabies shots, and of course spaying and neutering. That’s my main goal, really. I want to educate to help keep down the number of unwanted animals we get in.”
And according to Wilson the shelter gets new animals in all the time, which keeps the Camp Road facility full 365-days a year. Because of space limitations and because the shelter does not have a no-kill policy, animals that have not been adopted out must be put down when new animals are delivered.
“We really try to do everything we can to adopt them or get them to rescue groups,” Wilson said, “and we are successful a lot of the time, but sometimes you have to make those hard decisions.”
Wilson is currently working with a team of animal care providers to develop a low-cost mobile spay/neuter program, and she and the staff take extra time to ensure the right dog is matched with the right owner.
“People may think that they want a certain dog, but maybe that dog is very high energy and the person wants a lap dog,” Wilson said. “Through a series of questions in our interview process we really try to make sure the fit is good so the owner and the animal will be happy, and so the animal won’t end up back in our or someone else’s facility.”
At a ratio of nearly two-to-one, adoption rates at the shelter are not keeping up with the number of animals that come into the facility, and Wilson expects an increase in puppy and kitten surrenders now that spring is here.
“It’s sad,” she said. “We have people come ask if we are a no-kill shelter, but they’ve got 10 dogs and puppies with them, or they drop off their animals because of a behavior issue that can be solved. Like I said, I really want to help educate people about ways we can avoid [pet overpopulation].”
Beyond adoptive parents for pets at the shelter, Wilson is also in need of supplies and volunteers to help, either walking or feeding animals, doing paperwork, or other tasks.
“We can really find something that suits you if you want to volunteer,” she said. “Any help is welcome. One volunteer even helped us develop our website.”
The shelter has an ongoing need for items such as latex gloves (the thick ones to prevent spread of disease), cleaning supplies, bleach, laundry detergent, old towels and shampoo.
For more information about The Pickens County Animal Shelter visit their website at www.pc-as.org. They can be reached by phone at 706-253-8983.
The shelter is located at 3563 Camp Road, Jasper, Ga. Hours of operation are Tuesday –Friday from noon to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Adoption Fees are $70.00 for dogs and $60.00 for cats. The adoption fee includes shots, micro chipping, spay and neutering.