FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Cindy Iacopella said if she were to wake up one morning and be out of a job, she would be happy.
It would mean Iacopella, director of the Forsyth County Animal Shelter, had adopted out all the animals.
“I believe people are good and love pets,” Iacopella said. “There are so many homeless pets in the world and I wonder how we can stop that from happening. I do this to save animals.”
With nearly 20 years in the animal welfare field, Iacopella moved to Georgia three years ago from New York where she also ran an animal shelter.
“I feel like I’m back at home and in my groove,” Iacopella said. “I’ve always worked in shelters at a director level. It’s my forte and what I love. It’s a dream job. It’s amazing to get the broken animals, fix them and find their forever homes.”
Once in Georgia, she started volunteering with Angels Among Us animal rescue and became the adoption director where she worked with roughly 100 volunteers weekly. It was there she heard about the shelter director position.
“This is an amazing shelter,” Iacopella said. “It’s supported by the county which is great. The administration is very involved with animal welfare issues and they want humane, progressive and lifesaving programs. It’s a great facility, with amazing bones and staff.”
She said the shelter staff already knows what needs to get done, so now she is working on fine-tuning its processes and programs.
“A lot of times people think of the county shelter as a scary place, but this is quite the opposite,” Iacopella said. “It is very welcoming and adoption driven. It’s all about getting animals into their forever homes.”
She also wants to work with the community on education to reduce owner surrenders, increase adoption events and start a fostering program.
“We are a resource for them, whatever the situation may be, such as financial hardship for veterinary care or food,” Iacopella said. “Our goal is to keep pets and people together.”
The shelter is required by law to not turn anyone away who may be surrendering a pet or dropping off a found animal, but that sometimes causes space issues.
She said she strives to reduce the number of animals euthanized due to lack of space and that Forsyth County shelter’s rate of euthanasia is low.
“Shelters are full of unbelievably adoptable pets,” Iacopella said. “We have tons of purebred dogs in our shelter that were most likely bought by breeders or from a pet store. Our goal is to never euthanize an adoptable animal. We prevent that by having people come here and adopting.”
To learn about the shelter, visit forsythco.com/Departments-Offices/Animal-Shelter.