Officials say more could be held if enough sponsorship money is raised
WALTON COUNTY, GA (Jan. 25, 2023) A free pet clinic hosted by Walton County Animal Control and put on by Planned Pethood of Georgia on Jan. 14 at the Walton County Agriculture Center was very well received. Pet owners began lining up before 9 a.m. and by noon they had all received many services to benefit their pets, including free vaccines, microchips, flea treatments, food/supplies and spay/neuter vouchers. A call was put out that the volunteers would still be there for another hour or so and more people were able to be served.
“This will help to keep animals healthy and in their homes, prevent unplanned litters, and increase return to owner rates with microchips. While these services are for owned animals, it takes future burdens off the shelter by preventing issues,” said Tonya Weaver of Planned Pethood. “We are a non-profit organization in Duluth that has several programs offering services for both the public and shelters. Our Go Fix Georgia Outreach Team helps shelters here in Georgia with their adoptable animals through spay/neuter and medical care. This was our first venture with Walton County, intended to help public animals.”
Those in attendance were very appreciative of the services offered.
“This is my sister’s dog. A couple of years she passed away and I promised her I would take care of him, but I have not had the time to get his shots or vaccines because I’ve had to work to support the family and that, so today was great. I’m thankful and blessed to have this event,” said Chris Baker carrying his dog, Jake. He left with a voucher to have Jake neutered at no cost to him as well.
Weaver said this event was sponsored by Best Friends Animal Society, with contributions made by Fi Nano chips, Petco Love distemper vaccines, Atlanta Humane for food and supplies and Bissell Pet Foundation. Planned PEThood is a 501c3 non-profit organization, funded mostly by donations and grants.
“We do hope to continue with Walton County on future endeavors! This is just the first step. While we do not have any other events or information to share at this time, we are open to discussions with the shelter for their needs. Planned PEThood does continue with our outreach events in other counties throughout the fall and winter seasons. Other services can be found on our website at www.pethoodga.org,” Weaver said. “Individuals and local foundations/businesses are the biggest funders of outreach events! Donations can be made on our website directly at www.pethoodga.org (Ways to Give Tab). If there is someone who would like to sponsor a complete event, start to finish, please email Lauren Frost, our Direct or Development, at email@example.com.
Weaver said an event the size of this first one in Walton County would need about $5,500 to put on. Shaun Morris, director of Walton County Animal Control, was very supportive of the event and said they hope that there are opportunities to have more such events in the future.
“There is a need in Walton County to help the pet owners, whether or not someone can afford to take their animals to the vet or not, they need to be vaccinated,” Morris said. “The microchips will help get lost animals back to their owners and we really need to stop the pet overpopulation.”