Furkids Animal Rescue and Shelters recently replaced a van stolen from the non-profit in late June, and they are using it for the first time to take a trip to Massachusetts, bringing cats and kittens to adoptive families up north.
Furkids founder and CEO Samantha Shelton said that they were able to buy a used van recently using only insurance funds and donations from the community. Shelton said she was grateful to see an outpouring of support from local residents after the non-profit announced in June that they needed help when the van was first stolen from their thrift store’s parking lot one night.
Authorities later found the van stripped and abandoned in Monroe, Ga. With the van totaled, Furkids asked the community to help raise at least $15,000 in donations, and they were able to buy the new van within the next two months.
Furkids is using the new van to transport donated supplies to their thrift stores and to help volunteers in the non-profit’s transport program — where they bring animals who would have otherwise been euthanized to loving, adoptive families up north where they are in higher demand.
“These animals are slated for euthanasia here in Georgia, but up north, there’s a line to adopt them,” Shelton said. “So knowing that they don’t have the supply like we do, but they have the demand — we bought a van, and we’re going. We drive them up.”
Volunteers left with the new van, filled with cats and kittens, on Monday for its first trip to Massachusetts where adoptive families are waiting for them.
With the concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, Shelton said that the transport program was put on hold for the past few months, but she is excited to get it started again.
“At the end of the day, we firmly believe that animals should not be euthanized because they are homeless,” Shelton said. “We are trying to do everything that we can to save as many as possible and to find them homes.”
As part of the transport program, Furkids pulls animals out of kill shelters from around Georgia, brings them into Furkids and provides any veterinary care they may need before transporting them to other states for adoption.
Shelton said Georgia has one of the worst kill rates for shelter animals in the country, and she is happy to be able to provide the program and be able to protect some of these animals.
“Our transport program a very important, life-saving program at Furkids,” Shelton said, “and we’re grateful that the community helps us provide the medical care for these animals.”