DULUTH - It's not every day one is greeted with cheers on the way to surgery. But that was the case for 23 cats on Thursday morning as they made the trek from Habersham to Planned PetHood of Georgia.
The Duluth non-profit group and Habersham Animal Control are partners in Go Fix Georgia, a program created to solve the issue of overpopulation by offering low-cost spay, neuter and rescue services to rural counties. About 25% of the procedures performed by Planned PetHood are for governmental agencies like Animal Control, according to Transportation Director Tanya Weaver.
One of the kittens that made the trip became the 1000th animal saved through the program. Aptly named Pennywise, Habersham Animal Control Director Madi Knix found the young feline just last week in a storm drain by the Dairy Queen in Baldwin.
"It opened so we took a little basket on a leash and dropped it into the hole," Knix said, "and he jumped in and just went for an elevator ride back up,"
Pennywise and 14 of the Habersham cats returned back to the county around 3:30 p.m. but the remainder went to the Newton County Animal Shelter for adoption, according to Weaver.
"I went into Newton County and I saw they didn't have a single adoptable kitten or cat last week," Weaver explained.
At that point, Weaver reached out to Nix to conduct Planned PetHood's first agency-to-agency transfer.
"We took them from Habersham and brought them here on Thursday. They got spayed and neutered, went to Newton County on return and all are already adopted," Weaver said.
Already receiving interest on the shelter’s Facebook page, Nix said it is very likely that a quick adoption will also take place for Pennywise. Nix credits Planned PetHood for getting animals fixed and adopted quickly into the community.
“While our local vets can do one here and one here, we are able to take all of our cats today, bring them here and they’re going to fix them all and we can start doing adoptions right away,” Nix said.