NEWTON COUNTY, GA -For the first time in Newton County’s history, spay and neuter surgeries were done at the Newton County Animal Services Shelter, located at 210 Lower River Road Wednesday. Dec. 28.
The surgery itself, first done on recently adopted puppy Kai, wasn’t the major milestone but rather what it represents.
When Newton County began its partnership with Planned Pethood of Georgia to shuttle dogs and cats to be sterilized in 2019, work needed to be done to increase adoptions. In 2018, 435 animals were adopted from Newton County Animal Services.
Newton County then began implementing policies and making changes to ensure the adoption rates increased and euthanasia rates decreased.
An emphasis was placed on ensuring each dog and cat that left the shelter had its shots and was sterilized. Pets available for adoption were advertised on the County’s website. Animals were sent to rescues to ensure a second chance.
These changes made a difference and in 2022 a record 1,032 animals were adopted from Newton County Animal Services.
This tremendous growth in animals leaving Newton County’s Animal shelter meant the practice of transporting dogs and cats to be sterilized was no longer feasible.
"I want to say a huge thank you to Newton County residents for continuing to give the wonderful pets at the Newton County Animal Shelter a second chance,” Newton County Animal Services Director Cindy Wiemann said. “The addition of this surgery suite will ensure we will can continue to have all cats and dogs sterilized before leaving for their new home."
Newton County and Planned Pethood of Georgia entered into an agreement in February to have a doctor come to the Animal Shelter and sterilize animals on site.
Under the agreement, Planned Pethood is providing a licensed veterinarian and two assistants, plus the cost of controlled drugs for the surgeries once a month.
This will lead to more dogs and cats being adopted from Newton County spayed and neutered leading to a safer environment for the County’s residents and pets.
“This is an innovative step by Newton County.” Interim County Manager Jarvis Sims said. “Cindy and her team have been improving and expanding what we do at Animal Services and this is just another step in our journey of providing the best services to our residents.”