Tails of a New Home
Story and photos by
Judy A. Maxwell
Humane Society of Morgan County opens its state-of-the-art $1 million facility
Less than a decade after it formed, the Morgan County Humane Society opened a premiere, state-of-the-art animal-adoption facility Sunday, on Fairground Road.
The $1 million complex is the first of its kind just east of Atlanta, and it surpasses many other animal-adoption facilities in Georgia and the nation, said society supporters.
The society held an open house at the facility, where it plans to process dogs, cats and other companion animals for adoption. Until now, Humane Society volunteers housed the rescued pets in their homes and through area foster-care programs. Since HSMC began operating in 1994, it has rescued and placed 5,000 homeless dogs and cats.
The dream to open a facility was made possible by a charitable contribution by Blema Fitzpatrick, whose trust, first set up in 2008, called for matching donations. The HSMC put her trust to work, raising enough money to put the adoption center plan into action. The 4,700-square-foot center is completely funded by charitable giving.
“We went from a backyard operation to a full-functioning, fully staffed facility,” said Marvin Bell, a dairyman from Greene County whose wife, Belinda Bell is the center’s new director. Bell was director of medical services for the Atlanta Humane Society. She took the job in May, continuing a 20-year career in animal rescue and adoption.
The center is large enough to house up to 10 full-grown dogs, about 40 puppies and 60 cats. Its floors and walls are made of stone hard, which is impervious to bacteria, mold or other germs. Puppies and kittens are huddled together in cages or pens as they thrive better if kept with their litters. Older animals are examined, cleaned, vaccinated and processed through the HSMC’s spay-and-neuter program before being made available for adoption.
The mission of HSMC is to provide area families with “well-vetted, healthy, adoptable” pets, said Marvin Bell during a tour of the facility.
Printed in July 14, 2011 edition