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Letter to the editor
Shelter numbers just dont add up
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Forsyth County News


I am a Forsyth County resident. For the past five months I volunteered at Forsyth County Animal Shelter, operated by NALAA, a Georgia corporation, pursuant to a contract with Forsyth County. Veterinarian Dr. Lanier Orr is president and his wife, Annette Orr, is secretary/director. I have several concerns including accountability, which have forced me to go public:

• The extreme lack of exercise provided for the dogs and cats. They can be in their 29”x72” cages for days and weeks at a time.

• NALAA reported 3,439 animals (2009 totals) going through in a one-year period.  Around 250 were not accounted for. What happened to them? Is the county checking these missing figures?

• 285 animals were rescued in a year. Who rescued them?  Where are the missing 250 plus 285? Several rescue groups have told me that NALAA would not let them pull animals out to be adopted. Forsyth Humane Society had four empty cages, wanted to pull, and was told “not now.” What happens when permission isn’t granted?  Who is NALAA accountable to?

• NALAA grosses approximately $530,000 a year, with 3,439 intake of animals averaged at 7-day stays. That comes to approximately $22 per day to house each animal. This seems like a lot of taxpayers’ money when, according to the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Department, it costs $20 to house each in-county inmate. It is costing more to feed an animal once a day than it does to feed a human three meals a day.

• Approximately 300 animals are taken in each month at this inappropriately-sized building with only 30 adoptable dog cages and 21 adoptable cat cages.

• Shelter is closed Saturday at 1 p.m. until Monday morning, which seems like a self-defeating public schedule when most people come to adopt during the weekend.

The amount of animals coming in to this size building, the unwillingness to allow rescue groups to pull, and the restricted weekend adoptable hours equals a much greater chance of euthanasia for the masses.

There needs to be more accountability to the county and the taxpayers for these animals’ welfare.

Betty Delman