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Donation group set up for new county shelter
Community backs cat cages
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Forsyth County News

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For more on the Friends of the Forsyth County Animal Shelter, go online at

Two members of the Forsyth County Animal Control and Shelter Advisory Committee announced Wednesday that they could commit the funds needed for additional cat cages through community donations.

Due to construction budget constraints, the room in the new shelter would have been built only as a shell, but donations could provide housing for about three dozen more cats.

Chairman John McGruder is working on the launch of the Friends of the Forsyth County Animal Shelter, a nonprofit group to accept donations for special projects.

The application for 501c3 tax status is in progress, but a fund created with the North Georgia Community Foundation allows a method to collect donations in the meantime, McGruder said.

So far, the account has about $2,500, and he expects to hit at least $10,000 by the October deadline the contractor set.

Committee member Lance White, also the president of the Humane Society of Forsyth County, said several people have committed funding for the project, which will provide an additional $10,000.

White had some concerns about the formation of a nonprofit group that would raise funds for a government-run shelter, primarily due to the public’s confusion between the county shelter and the nonprofit humane society, which receives no government funding.

McGruder said his plan is that the group will be “complementary” rather than competitive with the humane society.

“I have some hope that we’ll be able to tap some resources and money that you won’t touch,” he said. “My goal is that we’re going to raise a small amount of money and then the board will vote how we would use that money to help the county [shelter.]”

The board will be run by volunteers and start with five members initially, he said.

McGruder said the Friends would make an effort to notify donors that the group is not associated with the humane society.

The two members share the goal of reducing animal overpopulation in the county by educating the community, and said maybe someday they’ll be able to work the shelters out of business in Forsyth.

The shelter under construction in north Forsyth will be county owned and operated, replacing the county’s current contract with a privately run shelter on Old Atlanta Road.

The new 13,761-square-foot facility is being built on County Way off of Ga. 400.

Recent rains have delayed the project, which is tentatively slated for completion in late February.

The shelter construction is funded through revenue from the special purpose local option sales tax, or SPLOST VII, approved by voters in November 2011.