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Forsyth County breaks ground on new animal shelter



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Forsyth County leaders turn the dirt at the groundbreaking ceremony for the new animal shelter off County Way in North Forsyth. Caitlyn Walters. (click for larger version)
March 25, 2013
FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Work was started on Forsyth County's new animal shelter on March 20.

Community leaders held a ceremony to break ground on the voter-approved shelter.

All county commissioners were present to welcome citizens to the grounds that will soon hold a 13,700-square-foot facility on a four-acre lot off County Way. The estimated completion date of the facility is early 2014.

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Animal Control and Shelter Advisory members, from left: Dr. John McGruder, chairman, Lance White, president of Humane Society of Forsyth County, and Tim Merritt, deputy county manager. Caitlyn Walters. (click for larger version)
Forsyth County Commission Chairman Pete Amos and Commissioner Todd Levent spoke about the facility and thanked all involved with the project's progress.

"You are seeing what your tax dollars are doing here," Amos said. "I'd like to thank every member of this community for the time and energy they put forth for this project."

Amos also extended a special appreciation to Dr. Lanier Orr and Annette Orr, who have collaborated with the county since 1980 to provide animal shelter services for the local community at their facility on 1902 Old Atlanta Road.

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Forsyth County Commission Chairman Pete Amos. Caitlyn Walters. (click for larger version)
To ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of the facility, the Animal Control and Shelter Advisory Committee was formed with Chairman Dr. John McGruder, Levent, Lanier Orr, Lance White, Kathy Genovese, Tim Merritt and Cindy Henderson.

"Careful consideration has gone into the planning of this facility and to meeting the animal shelter needs of the community," Levent said. "The new shelter has been designed to promote adoption, public education and collaboration of the local animal advocacy groups."

The design of the shelter has been completed by RKS Green Consulting and Shelterplanners.com. The general contractor for the project is CRS Building Corporation.

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Forsyth County Commissioner Todd Levent. Caitlyn Walters. (click for larger version)
Forsyth County Humane Society President Lance White attended the event as the humane society helped design the new facility. White said he will meet with county staff to discuss development of an application on the county website to allow people to upload pictures of lost or found animals and bypass a trip to the shelter.

Because the new shelter will be a kill shelter, the humane society wants to work together with the county to avoid putting animals down.

"The new shelter will have fewer kennels and cat condos than we currently have at Dr. Orr's," White said. "We have to jump on this and get ahead or else when we open these doors, we are going to be packed to the gills here."

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