- Fiza Pirani The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Over the past five years, Atlanta resident Erin Guthrie has helped nearly 75 dogs that would have otherwise been put down find a loving home — just by creating powerful fliers and posting them around popular Atlanta restaurants.
"A lot of people that come in will read the fliers, write down the number and tell us they want to do something about it," Katherine Moron, a shift manager at Buckhead's Fellini's pizza joint, told The Atlanta Journal Constitution.
It all started six years ago when Guthrie stayed at a motel in rural Hazelhurst, Georgia — a "no man's land" town three hours south of metro Atlanta — where she noticed a stray dog living in a field with a litter of seven puppies.
To help get them to safety, Guthrie paid a visit to the local Hazelhurst Animal Shelter, which she described as a cinder block building with no heat, no air conditioning and a narrow corridor of cages.
Eventually, Guthrie took the mother, "Honey," back home with her to Atlanta.
After that experience, Guthrie prayed to find some way she could help the animals in need. The idea for creating fliers "came from God," she said.
"You have PetFinder and other websites for people actively looking for a pet, but you're not going to see people drive down to Hazelhurst to adopt one," Guthrie said.
People who see fliers are people who weren't necessarily actively looking to adopt, but these folks are often driven to do something after seeing the fliers, she said.
The fliers are admittedly heartbreaking. Each tells the sad, true tale of an abused or abandoned dog from Hazelhurst from the dog's point of view.
But 2,500 harrowing posters later, every featured canine — which had all been passed over by doctors and rescue groups in rural Hazelhurst — now has a home.
"It's been absolutely amazing," Casidy Cox, a volunteer with the Hazelhurst Animal Shelter who has been partnering with Guthrie for the past five years, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "We never thought it would get this far."
Cox, along with other volunteers, is an integral part of keeping the small city pound up and running, often volunteering day in and day out while working full-time jobs.
Hazelhurst is a small, destitute city with little money, Cox said. And though they have the pound, there aren't many shelters or volunteers.
If you're interested in helping , visit Hazelhurst's Facebook page or call (912) 539-4785 to apply to volunteer.
But if you can't make it out to Hazelhurst, help spread the word and preserve the 100 percent flier adoption success rate by sharing photos of the posters on social media, like this Reddit user did.
You can often find fliers at the following restaurants and shops:
Fellini's Sandy Springs
Fellini's La Vista Rd
UPS Buckhead The Peach shopping center
Cafe at Pharr Buckhead
The Grove Bar and Grill La Vista Rd
El Monterey Mexican Restaurant La Vista Rd
Community BBQ Decatur
Slice N Pint Decatur
Our Way Cafe Avondale
Avondale Pizza Avondale
Matthews Cafeteria Tucker
Galla's Pizza Chamblee
Peachtree Battle Shopping center Bulletin Board
Starbucks Peachtree Battle
Mellow Mushroom La Vista
Briarcliff Animal Clinic Briarcliff Rd
Red Bandana Pet Supplies Buckhead