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Paws program brings partners together
Shelter WEB 1
Gwen Hays, left, greets a dog during the Humane Society of Forsyth County and the county shelter’s first off-site adoption event. - photo by Autumn Vetter


• Those interested in donating to or learning more about Paws Across Forsyth can visit the Humane Society of Forsyth County’s Web site at

• See what animals the shelter has available for adoption at

For a dog who had been waiting in the Forsyth County Animal Shelter since May, it took just one outing to find a new home.

Thanks to a new initiative of the Humane Society of Forsyth County, the county shelter’s first off-site adoptions on a recent weekend resulted in three dogs finding homes.

Paws Across Forsyth formed to help the county shelter increase the number of animals adopted out.

Lance White, president of the local humane society, said off-site adoptions help save more animals.

“You’re not waiting for the people to come to you,” White said. “You’re coming to the people. They’re seeing them and saying, ‘Oh, I have room in my house for another dog.’”

White hopes holding the off-site adoptions will prove to county officials that the practice is important, and one that should be integrated as a new animal shelter is built.

Voters recently approved construction of the facility, which will be funded through the next round of the 1-cent sales tax revenue, but a time frame for completion has not been set.

White serves on the Forsyth County Animal Control & Shelter Committee, which is working to oversee the construction and foundation of the new county shelter.

He brought the idea to fellow committee member and holder of the county’s current animal control contract, veterinarian Lanier Orr, following a recent meeting.

“That’s the first time anybody’s tried to help us,” Orr said. “He’s wanting to help us and help the animals, and that’s what it’s all about.”

With a full shelter, Orr said any way to get animals adopted out is a good thing.

The shelter, established nearly three decades ago, had tested off-site adoptions many years ago, but didn’t have the manpower humane society volunteers can provide.

This newfound “spirit of cooperation” between the county shelter and the nonprofit has been exciting to Orr.

“We hadn’t had a whole lot of cooperation before, but you can tell a great difference since Lance has been there,” he said. “Everything’s on the up and up, and we’re tickled.”

For years, White said the humane society rarely worked with the county shelter, which received public criticism during the county’s debate on what to do about its animal control facility.

White said serving on the committee together helped the two understand each other and see the bigger picture of how to best help homeless animals.

“The humane society’s helping the animal control facility,” White said, “and he’s opened his doors to the idea of being able to help more animals.”