Frequently Asked Questions

What areas does the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia serve?
The Humane Society of Northeast Georgia serves all counties in northeast Georgia including Hall, Jackson, Banks, Lumpkin, Habersham, White, Rabun and Stephens Counties. However, we will accept adoptable animals from any county.

Why are you not a “No-Kill” facility?
The Humane Society of Northeast Georgia has chosen specifically not to be called a “No-Kill” shelter. Our shelter staff and Board of Directors acknowledge that using the term “No-Kill” would put the blame of pet overpopulation on those agencies that must euthanize. As the Potter League in Rhode Islands states, euthanasia is a disease and “just as we would never blame the American Cancer Society for the existence of or increase in cancer, we cannot place blame on shelters for the disease of euthanasia.”

Our organization spent too many years as the Humane Society of Hall County, where hundreds of thousands of animals were euthanized at our shelter. We recognize the difficult decision to euthanize and work hard not to put the societal problem of pet overpopulation back on agencies that must perform a task that is not their own doing. For more information on our euthanization policy, please view our Euthanasia Policy in the “Our Policies” section of the ABOUT page.

How many animals can the Humane Society house?
Our building and kennels can house approximately 250 animals. The Adoption area holds roughly 120 animals available for adoption at any given time. In Adoptions, there are 29 dog kennels, 48 cat kennels and approximately 50 small dog/puppy housing units.

What is the difference between the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia and other Animal Control Agencies?
One major difference between our agencies is that the Animal Control agencies are required by law to take in stray animals found in their respective county, in areas where they hold an animal control contract, while the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia only takes in owner relinquished animals and animals coming in through the transfer or foster programs. Additionally, the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia houses a comprehensive veterinary center that serves the spay and neuter surgical needs for the animals of the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia and many other animal welfare organizations.

So why does HSNEGA not take in strays?
The Humane Society of Northeast Georgia is a private, non-profit animal welfare agency and, as such, we are legally prohibited from taking in strays at our facility. More specifically, both Hall County (our county of residence) and Georgia State Department of Agriculture ordinances state that stray animals must be surrendered to the local municipal animal control facility for intake, or impound. In the State of Georgia, animals are viewed as property and have to be “impounded” at the legal facility of record to allow owners due process to “reclaim” their personal property, or pet.

How the Humane Society does help strays is working closely with area municipal facilities which have to euthanize due to time/space constraints to transfer as many unclaimed strays as we can accommodate to our facility for vetting and adoption.

Who should you call if you are bothered by a stray animal?
Call your local Animal Control agency; you can do this by contacting your respective counties office. In Hall County, contact Hall County Animal Services at 770-531-6830.

Why put so many resources into animal welfare in Northeast Georgia?
With so many great causes that need financial support and attention today, this is a question we value and welcome. The answer lies in the roles animals play in our lives and the lessons we learn through our treatment of animals.

Quite simply, the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia not only benefits animals but also benefits people and our community as a whole by fostering stronger bonds between people and animals and increasing educational opportunities for generations to come. George T. Angell, humanitarian and founder of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, once said “I’m sometimes asked: ‘Why do you spend so much of your time and money talking about kindness to animals when there is so much cruelty to men?’ I answer: ‘I am working at the roots.'”

This quote helps illustrate the point of the way we treat animals is central to the integrity of our community and directly correlates to the way we humans treat each other.

How are you affiliated with Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)?
The Humane Society of Northeast Georgia is an independent 501(c)(3) organization and is not affiliated with any other local, state or national organization such as the Humane Society of the United States in Washington or the ASPCA in New York. Because there are so many humane organizations with similar names, it is not uncommon for supporters of one humane society to mistake it with other humane societies. The Humane Society of Northeast Georgia is dependent solely on financial support from our community and donors.

Do you accept any type of animal?
The Humane Society of Northeast Georgia accepts only companion animals that are kept as pets. This may include cats, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, reptiles, or small birds. We do not take livestock and, by law, cannot accept stray animals. We are licensed to take only specific types of wildlife through the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

Do you have exotic animals/birds/etc for adoption?
We do sometimes have unusual pets, such as bearded dragons, parakeets, or chinchillas available for adoption, but we cannot guarantee that these pets will be available every day. The pets that are available for adoption change from day to day, so please call the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia or visit the “Available Pets” section of our website for more information.

How long before the pets in your care are euthanized?
The Humane Society of Northeast Georgia does not use length of stay at the shelter as a criteria for euthanasia. Once an animal becomes available for adoption, it will remain available for as long as is necessary to find a new home. Euthanasia is only performed when medically or behaviorally necessary. For more information, please view our Euthanasia Policy in the “Our Policies” section of the ABOUT page.

How do I become a volunteer?
The Humane Society of Northeast Georgia has a variety of volunteer opportunities, ranging from dog walking to foster parenting to assisting with special events and fundraisers. For more information about volunteer opportunities and to apply for our Volunteer Program, visit the VOLUNTEER section of our website or call (770) 532-6617 for more information.

Why are your adoption fees higher than other shelters in the area? What do your fees include?
While our adoption fees may be higher than other North Georgia shelters, many resources go into each adoption at the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia.

Every animal that is adopted from the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia has been both medically and behaviorally assessed by our specialists. When you adopt an animal from the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia, the adoption fee includes the medical exam and behavior assessment, all up-to-date vaccines, the pet’s spay or neuter, permanent microchip identification, a free veterinary exam, and even free admission to one of our behavioral workshops.

Where do your animals come from?
Many of the animals at the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia are brought in by their owners, but some come to us from different shelters throughout the state through transfers. The Humane Society of Northeast Georgia visits shelters both in and outside of our area to help ease the overcrowded conditions that many of these shelters face, helping to ensure that no healthy animal in Northeast Georgia will have to be euthanized due to space.

Is there a waiting list for a particular breed?
At this time, there is no official waiting list for certain breeds. However, the variety of dogs that we have available for adoption changes daily and often includes a variety of purebred dogs. We recommend checking our ADOPTIONS page regularly to see what breeds are available each day.

How do I Give Up my Pet for Adoption?
To help offset the fees of housing your animal, the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia requests a donation for each animal brought to our facility. This donation helps offset the enormous cost of feeding, housing, and veterinary services we will provide to make your surrendered pet ready for adoption.

Admission of any animal to the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia is based on the animal’s health, behavior, and adoptability. Animals are admitted when space is available. Animal admission is at the sole discretion of Humane Society management. We make no guarantee of being able to accept any animal.

You will be asked to present your valid Driver’s License or State ID to release an animal. Please call 770-532-6617 for further information.

I relinquished an animal to the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia yesterday. Why isn’t that animal available for adoption yet? 
Once an animal is relinquished to the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia, it undergoes a thorough medical examination and behavior assessment process that can take several days. Animals are spayed or neutered, vaccinated, micro-chipped, examined and treated for any medical conditions.

After a dog or cat is medically sound and has recovered from any special treatments, it goes through a behavior assessment. Members of our animal care staff are trained to perform behavioral assessments, which involves both handling animals and recording observations.

Since moving from a home to a shelter environment can be a stressful experience for any pet, each pet is allowed a few days to acclimate to its new environment before being behaviorally assessed. This ensures that our animal care staff is able to see more of the pet’s “true” nature. While the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia seeks to find homes for as many adoptable pets as possible, we know that rushing the process is not in the best interest of the pet.

Please contact us if you have additional questions.