Gwinnett County Animal Welfare and Enforcement "operates the animal shelter and encourages the adoption and rescue of shelter animals" according to its Facebook page.

How the Gwinnett County animal shelter is making dogs feel at home

Gwinnett Animal Welfare and Enforcement has reopened for essential services and introduced a new environment meant to make dogs feel more at home as they await their forever homes.

The animal shelter, which had closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, unveiled the living room simulation called a “Real Life Room” to comfort stressed shelter animals, 11Alive reported

» RELATED: Why fostering a shelter animal during coronavirus crisis helps you and them

Staff at the facility told the news outlet about the features of the new space. It includes a dog bed, couch, desk, a box full of dog toys and a fuzzy rug. The space is not purely aesthetic. According to the shelter’s behavior coordinator Katie Corbett, the room was made to demonstrate to animals what the real world looks like. 

“While we do love having them here we don’t want them to think this is the final outcome for them,” Corbett said. “So just being able to take them into a quiet space and let them rest on the couch away from the kennel noise and stress has just been really beneficial for them.”

Since reopening, the Gwinnett County animal shelter has complied with social distancing guidelines when it comes to residents meeting potential new family members. Walk-in visits have temporarily been suspended and interested pet parents must schedule an appointment here.

» RELATED: Gwinnett shelter offering free pet adoptions, online applications

No pets can be placed on hold over the phone and adoption fees have been waived. 

“Our knowledgeable staff is available to help potential adopters or fosters find the perfect new addition to their family,” division director Alan Davis told 11Alive. “We are waiving adoption fees so every pet has an opportunity to find a loving home.”

Appointments are available in one-hour increments from noon to 5 p.m. Monday-Thursday and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday and Saturday. If a stray is found, residents are encouraged to report them by calling (770) 339-3200. If possible, people are asked to hold on to strays to allow time for owners to locate their lost pets.

The Gwinnett County Animal Shelter updates its listing of available pets on its Facebook page and website.

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