Dr. Michael Good, head veterinarian at Acres Mill Veterinary Clinic in Canton, is on a mission to rescue as many homeless pets as possible. He says that more than 100,000 homeless pets are euthanized annually in the greater Atlanta area. Humane Society statistics estimate that 3-4 million homeless cats and dogs are destroyed annually around the country.
Dr. Good says that the disproportionately desperate situation for Georgia animals inspired him to form the Homeless Pets Foundation in 1998. The 501(c)3 nonprofit organization provides critical vet services at the veterinary hospital, foster care, transportation, food and adoptions for homeless animals.
Dr. Good says his veterinary hospital is active with the Homeless Pets Foundation because of their passion for helping animals.
“As a veterinarian, I am frustrated to see the suffering of so many dogs and cats. Since 2002, we have found loving families for more than 10,000 pets, but clearly the need is enormous. We provide Canton pet services for rescued animals, such as spay and neuter surgeries, vaccinations and other critical services. It’s an all-volunteer organization; we are out there rescuing animals from death row, fostering, training and trying to find good homes for as many pets as we can.”
The Homeless Pets Foundation website lists more than 50 dogs and almost 30 cats for adoption. Dr. Good says that the organization receives at least 30 calls a day from people looking to place pets. The foundation makes every effort to connect people with resources that can help them, but due to finite resources, the foundation reserves their efforts to save animals from death row at area shelters.
People interested in adopting a pet from the foundation should call 770-971-0100. Adoption events are held every weekend at the PetSmart stores in Smyrna and on Johnson’s Ferry. Families can also schedule appointments to visit animals during the week at the pet hospital where many of them are fostered.
Dr. Good also says that their “Underhound Railroad” is linking homeless pets with families who want them. He explains that while Georgia has a pet overpopulation problem, shelters in the Midwest and Northeast have long waiting lists of families wanting to adopt, but only a few animals available.
The foundation is retrofitting vans to transport Georgia animals ready for adoption to shelters in Maine, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Minnesota that have families waiting to adopt.
Dr. Good says there is something every pet owner can do to contribute, “We encourage every pet owner to spay or neuter their family pet. Many of these homeless pets are the unintentional offspring of domestic dogs and cats. Spaying or neutering a pet will reduce the numbers of homeless pets nationwide.”