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Cobb Animal Control Unaffected by Budget Cuts

Public Safety Cpt. Jeff Patellis: "17,000 animals pass through the doors of the Cobb County Animal Shelter yearly. Of those we adopt out about 6,000."

Public Safety Cpt. Jeff Patellis gave residents an overview of Cobb County Animal Shelter operations at Commissioner JoAnn Birrell's town hall meeting last Thursday.

Patellis described the state-of-the art surgical facility at CCAC where pets are spayed and neutered to help control the animal population. All animals receive a rabies vaccination administered by the veterinarian.

Cobb County is one of the few Georgia counties to have a full-time veterinarian on staff.

Patellis describes shelter operations and the surgical facility in this article's accompanying videos.

Vicki Hammond July 06, 2011 at 03:03 PM
The numbers are staggering. One pass through the shelter and you will see how truly wonderful all these animals are. What wasn't mentioned by Cpt. Patellis is the number of owner turn ins(OTI). I would be interested to see how many of the 17,000 are OTI's. I was there yesterday and Lilly, a 14 year old cat, was turned in by her owner. Sandy, a 16 year old dog, was dropped off recently too. These are not isolated cases. I would like to see money used to help people keep their animals (low cost vet care and food pantry), foster programs established to give some of the animals at the shelter a temporary home, a stronger volunteer program for support, more money from court fines (traffic court, misdemeanor cases, etc.) used to fund programs, and a one time (small) license fee for spay/neutered pets (but yearly registration which would make it easier for CCAC to find owners of stray animals) and for those that choose not to spay/neuter, a substantial annual fee along with yearly registration. Mandatory microchipping might also be a good option. Cpt. Patellis and staff do a fine job with the way things are set up at the present time. Are there areas of improvement? Sure. However, they are willing to consider new ways and that's the first step. I believe they are all tired of seeing animals die needlessly. Thank you Julia for covering this topic.
Julia Harris July 06, 2011 at 03:58 PM
It breaks my heart when owners surrender elderly pets to CCAC. I will try to find out the OTI numbers. CCAC did the right thing building the surgical facility. Pets are more likely to be adopted if they are spayed/neutered and the vaccinations are updated. If low cost spay and neuter is offered to county residents, that's great, too.
Crystal Miron July 06, 2011 at 07:49 PM
Of course the sad story behind those statistics is the 11,000 pets who pass through Cobb County Animal Control's shelter and are not able to be adopted out. I think Vicki raises some very good points. More should be done in Cobb County and the state of Georgia to enforce responsibility by pet owners for the reproduction of their animals. It's very unfortunate the number of people who have pets, but won't pay a one time fee to have them fixed. It is also terrible that people would surrender their older pets to CCAC, having to know deep down that their pet has little to no chance of being adopted out. Instead of being personally accountable for their decision to have a pet, we the taxpayers end up footing the bill for their pet to be put down.
Janice Riccio July 06, 2011 at 11:59 PM
The good news is that Sandy the 16 year old dog went to a rescue group! Julia, when you check the numbers, find out how many of the 17,000 are wildlife, I don't believe that is all cats and dogs. But it's still an outrageous number anyway you look at it. Hopefully, the new spay & neuter program will help bring those numbers down in the years to come.
Glenda Krebs July 07, 2011 at 12:34 PM
Luckily everyone can do something to help! Cobb County has many rescue organizations tirelessly run by volunteers. Homeless Pets Atlanta offers a Pit Fix program plus countless other programs to try to help animals. Come volunteer and save a pet!
Lorie Erskine July 10, 2011 at 07:43 AM
11,000 that is one heck of a large number. Microchipping is very important also as I wonder how many of these pets could belong to someone and the owner can't be located for lack of a tag or chip on the animal. I am sorta near the Cobb border and thought to look there for my missing kitty but I would imagine many in Woodstock don't do that. Animals can manage to get themselves far from home. I saw a story about a cat that was taken in by someone in the owners neighborhood and after a year they moved and dumped it at the pound. The original owner was located by the chip and reclaimed the kitty. Cat would have been just another number without that chip.
Robbie Huck July 11, 2011 at 03:25 PM
Commissioner Birrell is a friend of companion animals, I regret missing this meeting. I am curious, what is the procedure of using the gas chamber? is it a simple first in Cobb Animal Control, first in gas chamber? how many animals are put in the chamber per gassing? The answers may shine light on the urgency for citizens to commit to being part of the solution to our pet overpopulation crisis.

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