Abandoned pets still have hope
Forsyth County Humane Society is area’s only “no-kill” shelter

by Scott Sowers

July 12, 2007

Just down Keith Bridge Road you will find an unassuming building which houses one of Forsyth County’s greatest success stories.

The Forsyth County Humane Society has been operating as the area’s only “no-kill” shelter at this location since 1975. Unlike most animal shelters, they do not euthanize any animals that are deemed unfit for adoption.

With about 40 cats and 25 dogs at the shelter at any given time, the shelter’s volunteers are always busy trying to ensure that the pets find a loving home. Because it is a no-kill shelter, an animal will remain there until someone adopts it.

“Unfortunately, everyone wants to adopt a puppy or kitten,” said Holly Cohen, the volunteer coordinator for the shelter. “Some of our older animals remain here a long time but they are just as loving, plus they’re housebroken.”

Cats are housed in a series of communal “cat rooms” which feature shelves on the walls for the cats to climb on as well as many cat toys. The dogs are housed in a separate building which contains 18 runs and is surrounded by several yards where the dogs can get out and stretch their legs several times a day.

Also in the dog building is a series of isolation rooms where new arrivals will be put for 14 days where it is determined whether or not the animals are healthy and well-behaved enough to be put up for adoption. If not, they may go to a local foster home to live. These foster homes also hold dogs and cats that are on the waiting list to come live at the shelter so they can be put up for adoption.

As a service to the community, the shelter has been operating a feral cat program since March to deal with the large population of stray cats in the county. So far they have placed six feral cat feeders/humane traps around the area that are designed to trap the animals. They are then collected and spayed or neutered and given any other necessary medical care.

The Forsyth Humane Society has paired with Pet Vet to administer the spaying and neutering for the feral cat program. Since March they have administered approximately $2000 worth of medical care to 40 cats.

One of the cats uncovered by the program is Shady. This cat was discovered recently with several injuries on his body. It was discovered that Shady suffers from FIV, which is the feline equivalent to AIDS.

Although not a death sentence for him (some cats with FIV can still live 15 or more years), he cannot live in a home with other cats, but can live in a house with dogs or no pets at all. He lives in a foster home now, but this loveable and affectionate cat is available for adoption.

The shelter holds many events and fundraisers to promote awareness of the shelter, increase adoptions, and to help sustain the shelter.