Community News Walker County's 'speed petting' event strives to find pets the perfect home

Community News Walker County's 'speed petting' event strives to find pets the perfect home

February 6th, 2019 by Myron Madden in Community North Georgia

Kevin Key takes a dog out of a kennel to meet a potential new family at the Walker County Animal Shelter in this 2017 photo. The shelter is hosting a "speed petting" event Feb. 9 to find dogs like these the perfect home.

Photo by Doug Strickland /Times Free Press.

Pet-lovers hoping to find a new snuggle buddy before Valentine's Day are in luck. On Saturday, Feb. 9, the Walker County Animal Shelter is hosting a "speed petting" event to pair dogs and cats with the perfect home.

Titled "My Furry Valentine," the daylong affair will allow visitors to flip through a photo album and select the furry companions that warm their hearts the most. The staff will then bring out four potential forever friends from each visitor's list, giving man and beast four minutes together to see if it's a match.

Alycia Feely meets a dog outside of its kennel at the Walker County Animal Shelter in this 2017 photo. The shelter is hosting a "speed petting" event Feb. 9 to find dogs like these the perfect home.

Alycia Feely meets a dog outside of its...

Photo by Doug Strickland /Times Free Press.

In addition to helping animal-lovers connect with new furry friends, the special event will aid in the shelter's ongoing goal to increase adoption in order to reduce euthanasia rates, which were at nearly 50 percent when the shelter first doubled down its efforts to tackle the problem in 2017.

Since then, the shelter has begun spaying, neutering and vaccinating all animals before they are adopted. Shelter workers have also begun deworming and medicating the animals when necessary, decreasing illnesses among the animals in the shelter's care.

As suggested during a consult with Target Zero, a national nonprofit aimed at lowering shelters' kill rates to 10 percent, finding creative ways to promote adoption, such as My Furry Valentine, will hopefully do much to help move animals out of the shelter faster.

For the duration of Saturday's event, adoption fees will be reduced to $10 for cats and $20 for dogs. The price includes spay/neuter, rabies and core vaccination.

The event runs from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Snacks will be available for humans and pets alike.

Email Myron Madden at mmadden@timesfreepress.com.

Kittens rest together in a cage at the Walker County Animal Shelter in this 2017 photo. The shelter is hosting a "speed petting" Feb. 9 to find cats like these the perfect home.

Photo by Doug Strickland /Times Free Press.

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