In late 1997, a Danielsville resident went before the Madison County Board of Commissioners to request help in dealing with the many stray dogs and cats being dumped near her home. At the time the county did not have an animal control facility or any way to deal with strays. The result of that BOC meeting was the formation of a citizens committee dedicated to finding a solution to the stray animal problem in the county.
Madison-Oglethorpe Animal Shelter, Inc. (MOAS) was formally incorporated as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation in April of 1998 and continued researching the needs of both counties. Fundraising had begun in earnest.
Throughout 1999 the Board of Directors for MOAS developed a list of possible locations to build the shelter. At the same time expected operating costs were developed and the Board approached the county commissioners of the two counties about passing resolutions to support funding the operating budget for 2001.
The animal shelter was planned as a drop off facility with its own surgical suite to run a low cost spay and neuter program. Another facet of the facility was educational programs aimed at local residents to increase awareness in responsible pet ownership.
Donations from county residents and financial commitments by the two counties in 2000 enabled MOAS to move forward with their plans.
The Madison County BOC leased county land next to the Transfer Station to the shelter and provided site preparation.
Bids were solicited and blueprints drawn up for a functional facility including dog runs, cat rooms, quarantine areas, a laundry room, a surgical suite, and a multipurpose room used for employee breaks, meetings, and educational programs.
Over the course of the last fifteen years there have been many people involved in the success of the shelter from the original citizens committee to the board of commissioners for both counties and the many supporters, volunteers, employees and members of the board of directors. The support of Sally Adams and her family made the inception of the shelter possible and continue to be major supporters today. The main shelter building is named Adams Humane Center and the cat room is named Amy’s Cat Room in honor of Adams’ daughter Amy.
2012 was a rebuilding year for the shelter. A new shelter manager was hired and programs halted for a lack of funding have since been reinstated as the economy has recovered. Volunteer recruitment has been stepped up for foster parents, on site shelter work and off site events like adoptions events and Rabies clinics.
A grant from FreeIT Athens enabled the installation of a computer network connecting the front desk to surgery and intake. New shelter management software hosted on an internet web server allows instant access to shelter information without a huge investment in hardware. Detailed tracking of lost and found pets for local residents is now possible along with compilation of statistics reported to the BOC of the two counties in an effort to remain transparent.
The reality of being a non-profit means we are always looking for funding. The counties funding keeps the doors open. Grants, donations of cash, services and volunteer time by individuals and businesses, and utilizing as many county and state programs as possible is what will allow the shelter to move forward. We don’t want to be merely open. We want to expand our services, reach more residents and succeed. Our success depends on you.
Source: Margie Richards, Madison County Journal