“There are a large number of services accessible to help people better care for their pets and we wanted to introduce the local community to some of them,” said Enger Dickey, the event organizer.
Teaching children the importance of maintaining proper pet care was one focal point of the event. “We have pet clubs called Paws & Claws in eight Bartow County and Cartersville City schools now but we would like to see more schools take part. Each club chooses a pet to sponsor at no cost to them. The students put up flyers at their school and work to help the pet get adopted,” said Dickey. “I like pets and it’s fun to help animals get adopted to a good, loving home,” said Cody Isbell of South Central Middle School’s Paws & Claws. The SCMS Paws & Claws club, which began last school year and has 12 members, held several fundraisers to donate money and other necessities to the Etowah Valley Humane Society. This year the club’s sponsor, Pat Ellis, said she hopes the club will continue to make an impact on the students by getting the dialogue started on what it takes to own a pet and the assistance we can provide to pets without a home.
Dickey, who began volunteering a few years ago, said, “We have come quite a long way in just a few short years in regards to animals being euthanized. Thanks to the effort of many groups working together, in about three years the rate of animals euthanized in Bartow County has dropped about 300 percent. We still have a lot of work that needs to be done, however. At this point about 40-50 percent of the animals that animal control picks up are euthanized. We need volunteers, donations and members to keep the effort strong and continue to reduce the number of animals destroyed.”