After reading Linda Cooper’s letter to the editor, I realized that there are people who do not understand the difference in the Newton County Animal Control Program in Newton County and the Humane Society of Newton County.
The Humane Society is a volunteer organization of non-paid animal lovers who work closely with Animal Control, not for them, in many ways. We provide a spay/neuter program for animals adopted from the shelter. The county owns and operates the shelter and provides shelter and food to animals they pick up or to animals turned in to the shelter. You can adopt animals from the shelter. Cases of abuse, neglect and cruelty to animals should be reported to animal control. They have the legal authority to investigate these cases. Members of the Humane Society feel a moral obligation to report these cases and we feel all citizens should do so.
The Humane Society has no shelter, does not adopt out animals and does not pick up stray animals. That is the job of animal control. Their telephone number is (770) 786-9514. We have no office but can be reached at P.O. Box 2536, Covington, Ga. 30015. The Humane Society provides rabies inoculation clinics once or twice a year to assist people in getting pets inoculated. We provide other needs of the shelter not provided by the county due to budget constraints. We get no funds except what we earn, or by donations or from a will. Animal Control is a county funded program subject to rules and regulations set up by the county government. As in all government entities, they are limited by budgeting restrictions. The Humane Society is run by a board of directors and operates under a charter without the same limitations.
As stated before, we have a close working relationship with Animal Control. We find the staff there to be compassionate, concerned about the animals and providing good game for them, within the program regulations. We are lucky to have a top-notch shelter. I remember when this was not the case. We are so grateful to Mr. Roy Varner and the Board of Commissioners at that time for establishing the Animal Control program. We are also proud of the Humane Society accomplishments such as building a pole barn for large animals at the shelter. We will continue to work for the welfare of animals in Newton County and invite anyone concerned about animals to join us. We could use your help. We ask that before you criticize any organization, you get the facts. Bad information hurts.
Betty Bellairs is chairman of the Humane Society of Newton County.