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Letter to the editor
We can do better for animal care
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Forsyth County News
When NALAA, the for-profit company that has been running the Forsyth County animal shelter, announced it was not going to renew its contract I could only imagine that this would be a good move for animal welfare in our area. For decades Forsyth County taxpayers have been paying fees to NALAA that are well above the state average.

NALAA (the name is the initials of the family that runs it) charges the county $480,000 per year, while taking in an estimated 3,200 animals. That is an average of $150 per animal. By comparison, in Cherokee County the  average cost is $135.

But in Cherokee, as almost everywhere else, part of the money is used to reduce the problem. Discount spay and neuter surgeries, vaccination clinics, training, public education, etc. Everywhere else, an animal shelter’s goal is to eliminate the reason it’s needed. But in Forsyth that money is paid to a for-profit company, on a no-bid contract.

The problem can be summed up by a quote from a neighbor’s newspaper. In an article in the Gainesville Times on July 12, 2009, the Forsyth County shelter manager, Annette Orr was quoted as saying, “The shelter here is more or less a jail for vicious animals and a rabies quarantine.” This is how Forsyth County is represented to neighboring counties. And this is what Forsyth County taxpayers pay top dollar for. We can, and should, do better.

Jeffrey Mello