New Humane Shelter Opening Friday

The new Toccoa-Stephens County Humane Shelter is becoming a reality.

The new animal shelter on Scenic Drive will open to the public on Friday.

Shelter Director Bob Citrullo said this is an exciting time after years of work.

“There are so many people that have been a part of this and there are just a ton of people to thank, but here we are,” said Citrullo. “This past week has been very challenging as we prepped to get the animals here. It was very difficult to get this point, (but) again very exciting.”

The past few days, work has been ongoing to move the animals from the old shelter on Landfill Drive just off of Highway 145 to the new facility.

Citrullo said a lot of things have gone into moving the animals, getting them settled in, and making sure everything is ready for Friday.

“This past Saturday, we went in and vaccinated every animal (and) we wormed every animal in preparation to bring them here,” he explained Tuesday. “We have Dr. (Amy) Dorminey here giving an exam to every animal, getting rabies vaccines. All the flea treatments are being taken care of. They are being bathed as we speak. There is just so much going on.”

He also said that staff training has taken place over recent days and weeks to prepare for the new shelter to open.

According to Citrullo, the goal is to have healthy, adoptable animals for the public.

Citrullo said the new shelter will make that goal much easier, adding that he has noticed quite a difference in the animals since the move.

“I have been to the old shelter many times and it is very depressive and the animals do not get all that excited when they see you,” said Citrullo. “You walk through now and it is almost like you know they are smiling. They are attentive. Their tails are wagging. They feel better. It is a nice, warm floor that the dogs are on. The cats are in clean kennels. It is very healthy here. It is just much better and a needed change for the animals and you can tell. Their attitude is totally different.”

The hours for the new shelter will be 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.

Citrullo said that even with the new shelter open, there will still be a need for volunteers and donations.

For more information, call the shelter. The phone number will remain 706-282-3275.

Citrullo says that he also eventually would like to have an updated website with more information as well, adding that is something he is working on.