GAINESVILLE - Nearly four dozen dogs from the Hall County Animal Shelter will be taking a trip north Thursday afternoon, hoping to find 'forever' homes in New York state.
The 44 dogs are being taken to the "Best Friends Super Adoption Event" in White Plains as part of the Hall County Animal Shelter's Transport Program. The program provides a way for homeless animals in Hall County to be transported to areas of the country - usually New England - where there is a shortage of adoptable animals.
Hall County Animal Shelter Director Mike Ledford said there's actually a waiting list for pets in the north.
"All the animals that are going are ones that have been in our adoption program already and haven't been adopted, so they're guaranteed a home up there - there's a 100-percent adoption rate at these events," said Ledford.
Ledford said the Hall County Animal Shelter has participated in the White Plains adoption event in the past, and he expects this weekend's adoption to be just as successful as others.
He said they have a variety of animals that will make the trip.
"Of the 44 [dogs], we've probably got 40 different breeds that are going up there - different sizes, different ages, different colors- pretty much everything you can think of," he noted.
Ledford said all of the dogs being transported to New York have been quarantined for two weeks prior to the trip. They have also had a thorough medical examination, received their vaccinations and have been tested for various diseases.
In addition, the newly-formed Hall County Animal Shelter Volunteer Advisory Board has been involved in preparing the pets for transport. Members of the group helped bathe the dogs Wednesday afternoon. The advisory board, which is made up of six longtime shelter volunteers, is charged with organizing volunteer and donor efforts for the shelter.
Ledford also pointed out that the transportation to and from New York is not an expense that comes out of the shelter's operating budget. He said the first time volunteers took animals to a large adoption event in the northeast, the money came from the Transport Program. Each subsequent trip has been paid for by adoptions that take place at the out-of-state sites.