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Groups helping new Forsyth animal shelter care for critters
Goal is to save, place as many as possible

NORTH FORSYTH -- Hundreds of animals have been able to find a new home thanks to area rescue groups and the new Forsyth County Animal Shelter.

The facility on County Way in north Forsyth has helped place 300 animals through local rescue groups since it opened in August. About 19 different rescue groups have joined in that effort, with the shelter’s manager saying she is grateful for each one.

“We have several rescues that have committed to us, and they’ve really worked hard,” Jeanie Curphey said. “That’s not to say that the ones that have only taken a couple here and there aren’t committed to us because they are. They just try to help a lot of other shelters throughout the state.”

Of the groups that have helped, the Humane Society of Forsyth County has taken in more than 200 dogs and cats. President Mark Schullstrom said the humane society’s goal was to limit the number of animals put down.

“We are an independent organization, we don’t have contracts with the county or the Humane Society of the U.S.,” he said. “Our goal has been trying to make Forsyth County a no-kill community.

“And the way we’re trying to do that is [by] focusing on when we pull from kill shelters we try to pull from Forsyth County first and try to help reduce the number that our county shelter has to manage.”

Though the local facility does put animals down, none have been due to space or time concerns, only those deemed aggressive or too sick to be adopted.

“The Forsyth Humane has really stepped up and really committed to us,” Curphey said. “They’ve been coming and helping us as much as we can so we don’t have to euthanize for space, because we don’t want to have to do that.”

Angels Among Us, a primarily volunteer rescue group, has also taken in about 15 animals since the shelter opened.

Co-founder and board member LuAnn Farrell said the group intends to take more animals, but has been working with shelters that have a higher kill rate in surrounding communities.

“We try to go into high ‘kill’ animal shelters and pull dogs before they are euthanized,” she said. “We’ve been so focused, unfortunately, on some of the other shelters that we haven’t been able to focus as much as we like on Forsyth. But we’re definitely going to start.”

Whether a group takes several dogs each month or just one, it takes some of the strain off of the shelter, according to Curphey.

“Even if you just take one animal a month, that helps us a whole lot,” she said. “If we had 15 rescues taking one animal a month, then that means we have 15 animals we don’t have to worry about.”