Humane Shelter Holds Open House

The Toccoa-Stephens County Humane Shelter shows off its new home to the public.

The shelter, which officially opened for business last month, held an Open House Sunday afternoon to give tours to the public.

A large crowd showed up to see the new animal shelter on Scenic Drive.

Toccoa-Stephens County Humane Shelter Executive Director Bob Citrullo said that he was very pleased with the turnout.

“You could not ask for better weather and we had so many people,” said Citrullo. “From the time we kicked it off at 1 p.m., it was steady all through the day. I do not have a total, but there must have been hundreds of people that came through here today and they all said the same thing. They are thankful that the community has a really nice facility and they looked at the animals and said they looked good and were feeling good and were excited.”

The shelter started operations out of the new facility on February 1.

Citrullo said that the first month has gone amazingly well.

“With anything you start up new, it can be difficult as far as getting volunteers involved, which is important because we have a minimal staff, so the first two weeks were difficult,” said Citrullo. “Long days, long hours, but every time you see an animal go home, it is always worth it.”

Citrullo also noted that the shelter is already achieving a first-year goal of a 50 percent live release rate.

“For the first month, we had a 57.6 live release rate,” said Citrullo. “That is a great thing.”

Citrullo also said that the organization continues to build its volunteer base and received a lot of inquiries Sunday for volunteer applications.

The new shelter is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For more information on the shelter or getting involved, Citrullo said people can either stop by the shelter during business hours or call 706-282-3275.