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Dolly Goodpuppy preventing unwanted litters

Years ago the Dolly Goodpuppy Society, named after founder and president Pat Peurifoy’s beloved pet, began as a canine rescue and humane education organization. It has evolved to help address the needs of the community by reducing the number of pets that overflow the city animal shelter and all the rescue groups in the area. ’Our focus has expanded to include an aggressive approach to spaying and neutering pets,’ said Peurifoy. ‘In spite of enormous efforts made by those in rescue to save as many animals as possible, huge numbers are euthanized in this state every year; many of these animals are adoptable. It’s tragic.’ With the help of petfinder. com, Dolly Goodpuppy is gradually reducing its intake numbers of rescued dogs in its shelter so more funds can be devoted to spaying and neutering pets. ’Preventing unwanted litters attacks the problem at its core,’ she said. ‘There are always going to be some stray or surrendered pets that need help but reducing the number makes rescue more effective. We get calls all the time from people desperate to find a home for an animal. We hear, ‘˜I’ve called everyone and everybody is full.’ What does it tell you when every rescue group is always at its limit? There are just too many unwanted animals.’ Dolly Goodpuppy’s goal has always been that all adoptable pets will be able to find homes. Providing spay/neuter options and helping those in need is an important step in achieving that goal, she said. ’We often assist by providing spay/neuter with our local vets when funds are available,’ she said. ‘Low cost spay/neuter options make it possible for more people to get their pets done. We like to see the slots go to those who really need them.’ She urges pet owners to use their own vet if they have one. ’Your vet knows your pet’s history and can provide tests and a thorough exam to make sure surgery is safe,’ she said. ‘They also will keep the pet overnight to monitor its recovery. It’s very important that citizens understand everyone has a responsibility in managing pet populations. Donating a spay/neuter will prevent a litter. Donations to us can be designated for spay/neuter.’ In addition to accepting donations through dollygoodpuppy. org, the society holds regular fundraisers to help support its activities. The next one will be the first Cooking for K-9’s on Saturday, Jan. 25, from 9 a.m.-12 noon. It will feature a rack of ribs for the big game, barbecued by John Bittner and sponsored by Ooh La La Catering, Southdown BBQ & Grills. Pickup will be at Barnesville Self Storage. Tickets will be available at Slices and the chamber of commerce. Dolly Goodpuppy is the official ambassador for Atlanta Humane Society mobile spay/neuter program. It comes to town quarterly and provides spay/neuter, rabies shots and microchipping. The waiting list is constant. ‘I don’t have concrete numbers for what we actually spayed/neutered last year but this is what I can verify: Each of the four two-day clinics in 2013 was booked completely full with a waiting list,’ said vice president Dottie Eldridge, who manages the booking for AHS mobile clinics. When booking, Eldridge receives 40 to 50 calls a day for the first few days and averages about 20 calls a day until the clinic fills. All calls are returned usually within 24 hours even though the message says the call will be returned within 72 hours. ’Female dog slots are normally booked the first day of a clinic. Once female dogs are booked a message is put on the phone advising those slots and the waiting list is full,’ Eldridge said. ‘At that point some people just hang up. Others request information about future clinics or if I can do anything for them. We could fill a clinic every month with just female dogs since the need is so great in this area.’ Male dogs are always the last slots to be filled. Serving the entire metro Atlanta area, AHS allows Dolly Goodpuppy to book 29 and wait list five dogs and cats each day for two-day clinics scheduled once a quarter. It is allowed two slots for dogs weighing 55-65 pounds. ’We always have more requests than we can accommodate,’ she said. ‘We’ve used donations set aside for spay/neuter to fix larger female dogs working with local vets. Without donations that allow us to work locally the overpopulation in Lamar County and consequently the put-down rate would be much greater at the local pound.’ Volunteer Jane Mitchell said she was overwhelmed by a number of things at her first clinic. ’I realized I still had only an inkling of the service Dolly provides to Lamar and surrounding counties,’ said Mitchell. ‘Hosting the spay/ neuter clinic four times a year is an act of commitment to keep stray dog and cat populations down and give these animals a chance of healthier lives.’ Dolly Goodpuppy maintains a separate phone line exclusively for this endeavor and receives no portion of the $35 fee. During the quarterly visits, the Surgical Utility Vehicle rolls into the parking lot of the Nazarene Church and begins working on the day’s surgeries. Mama’s Kitchen and Slice’s Pizzeria provide lunch for the staff of the mobile clinic. ’At my first two-day clinic, 54 animals were spayed or neutered,’ Mitchell said. ‘I talked with several pet owners. Many waited with beloved pets they had bought or adopted. Just as many were country dwellers bringing a dog or cat or two that had been dropped off in their yards.’ To help handle the overflow, Dolly Goodpuppy arranged for Safe Harbor Animal Rescue, a foster organization which works out of Griffin and Macon, to handle some needed spay/ neuters. ‘They’ve been helping about once a month,’ said Peurifoy. ‘We try to get a little bit more help in here more often.’ Dogs that live at the Dolly Goodpuppy kennels come mostly from local animal control facilities. It does take some hardship cases of owner-surrender. ’Animal control isn’t a great place for young puppies so we take pups and sometimes mom too,’ she said. ’Abandoned and surrendered dogs are provided the best of care until their adoptions.’ She adds that good choices make good pets and happy owners. ’Many animals are surrendered because they didn’t fit the owner’s lifestyle,’ she said. ‘Pet owners often become frustrated when they encounter behaviors they’re unable to correct. An improper correction can worsen the problem or have an unpleasant side effect. It’s important to be well informed and prepared before you get the pet. We think many pet issues could be avoided by education in responsible pet ownership.’

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