Clayton animal shelter calls for emergency adoptions, rescues to save dogs

At least 20 dogs at the Clayton County animal shelter are at risk of being euthanized this week, prompting county officials to issue an emergency plea asking dog lovers to make last-ditch rescues.

“Our facilities are overcrowded and we are in desperate need of rescue organizations or adopters to come forward to assist in giving all of these animals a better quality of life and a forever home,” Clayton’s animal control unit said in a social media post.

According to a statement, the 20 pooches at the county’s shelter facilities will be put down Friday if they aren’t adopted or rescued by 1 p.m. Thursday. Animal control officials said some of the dogs have been at the shelters for extended periods, while others have special needs that can no longer be accommodated. A few are at a great risk of becoming ill, according to officials.

Since making their initial plea, six dogs have been adopted or received commitments from rescue groups, officials said Wednesday. The county said it regularly asks rescuers for help with their most urgent cases, but without additional help from the community this week their 3% euthanasia rate is likely to increase.

“Unfortunately, at this time, our facilities are over capacity and we will have to begin to euthanize for space,” officials said in the statement. “This is not an action that any of us take lightly or want to do. We wish that all of our animals would make it into loving forever homes where they are pampered for the remainder of their lives.”

The furry frisbee fetchers are available at Clayton’s two public kennels where strays and animals released by their owners are housed. Twelve of the dogs are at the county’s adoption center at 3199 Anvil Block Road in Ellenwood. The other eight are housed at animal control headquarters in Jonesboro at 1396 Government Circle.

The breeds available for urgent adoption include coonhounds, Labrador mixes, Dalmatians, Rottweilers and German shepherds.

Each of the adoptions come with a $95 fee that includes vaccines, spay/neuter costs, rabies shots and microchipping. Those wishing to take home a pit bull or pit bull mix must submit to a background check in order to adopt.

Interested pet lovers are asked to reach out to animal control staff before visiting a shelter to inquire about the dogs they’d like to adopt. Prospective adoptees can call the adoption center at 770-347-0210, contact animal control headquarters at 770-477-3509 or email the staff at rescue.coordinator@claytoncountyga.gov. Include the intake number for the animal in which you’re interested.