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Animals helped this year

Questions & Answers

1. How do I surrender an animal to your shelter?

Click here for full information on our intake policies and procedures.

2. Are you a No-Kill Shelter?

We are a No-Kill Shelter. For this reason many people want to bring their animals to us because they view us as a safe alternative to the traditional shelter. AAHS can not possibly be responsible for every animal in our area but we will gladly WORK WITH surrenders to find suitable options.

3. Do you EVER euthanize an animal?

Athens Area Humane Society's Euthanasia Policy While AAHS is a no-kill shelter, we still have to deal with the issue of euthanasia for some of our animals. Below is a guide so that you can understand in what cases such a decision will be made.

Definitions:
Euthanasia: The act or practice of painlessly ending the life of an animal that has a terminal illness, injury or incurable condition, as by giving a lethal drug.

No-Kill Shelter -is an organization that only euthanizes animals for the above reasons and has the goal of adoption for every animal in its care.

Animal Sanctuary - A sanctuary's goal is to provide life long care to the animals in its care. Some view this as a place that animals will go to live out the rest of their lives or a hospice for animals.


AAHS is a no-kill shelter with the goal of adoption for every animal. Therefore, we do not allow animals into our shelter that can not be safely adopted. This includes feral (wild) cats and vicious dogs. However, there are other organizations that specialize in these cases and we will be happy to talk with you about your options.

Special Cases in which AAHS will euthanize:
Terminal Illness: Examples would be kidney failure or any other illness that will result in slow painful death for an animal.

Injury: Minor injuries such as a broken leg or something that can be corrected with routine surgery are not reason for Euthanasia. However, major injures such as internal damage due to being hit by a car are.

Incurable condition: An illness or condition that results in a poor quality of life. Example would be uncontrollable diabetes, or any other condition deemed untreatable with normal medical care by our medical staff.

Feline Aids and Feline Leukemia: (terminal illness) because these diseases can pass from one cat to another, AAHS does not believe that animals that test positive for such illnesses should be allowed to interact with non-infected animals. If an owner wishes to surrender a positive animal to our shelter they will be referred to a sanctuary instead. If no sanctuary can be found, and the owner refuses to wait for room in a sanctuary to come available, the owner may request that the animals be euthanized to prevent it from spreading the illness or succumbing to a painful death.

Later Stages of Heart Worms: While dogs in the early stages of heart worm diesease can be safely treated, those in the later stages cannot. The treatment is very costly and poses a great risk to the animals due to the heartworms becoming dislodged and blocking blood to major organs. Dogs in the later stages of heart worms will be considered for euthanasia. However, other factors such as the dog's strength, age, and other physical conditions as well as the aggressiveness of the illness will be considered in the final decision.

Aggressive Behavior: Animals that were admitted into the shelter but were later found to be unadoptable due to aggression. These animals can not be safely placed without posing a risk to the adoptive family. AAHS will try to place these animals into a sanctuary but if no sanctuary can be found they will be considered for euthanasia.

4. Do you receive county funding or tax money?

NO. AAHS operates off donations and fees. We do not receive any county funding.

5. What is your address/phone number?

1781 Mars Hill Rd Watkinsville, GA 30677
(706) 705-AAHS (2247) 
If you are unable to reach us by phone, please email Info@AthensHumaneSociety.org, and your message will be relayed to the right place.

6. How do I adopt an animal?

Click on the ADOPTION link on the top menu. There you will find lots of helpful information.

7. I lost my job. Can you help me with food for my pet?

Click on SERVICES>Pet Food Assistance. There you will find lots of helpful information.

8. I cannot afford to spay/neuter my pet - is there Assistance?

Spaying or Neutering your new pet is very important. That is why we offer a low cost alternative to the local veterinarians. We also receive occasional grants or donations to help subsidize the cost of surgery.  You may contact us to find out eligibility.  Please call us for more information on these options at 706-769-9155.

9. Can you pick up an animal for me?

No, AAHS does not have the staff to make house calls. If an animal is sick or injured you can contact your local animal control.

10. Will you call me to let me know how my animal is doing?

Those who wish to be informed of their animals' progress are encouraged to call us. You will be informed of adoption and/or special issues that come up in your animal's case but we can not give daily updates.

11. How long does an animal have to get adopted?

We are a no-kill shelter.  Animals in our care have as long as they need. We do not euthanize for cage space. 

12. My animal needs medical care. Can you help?

We wish we could help all animals with Medical Care, but at this time the medical care we provide are Spay/Neuter services and care to the animals in our shelter. Please call your local Vet for help.

13. What happens to the animals you don't take in?

While we service over 1,000 animals per year, we are a small organization and can not be responsible for all the animals that people wish to bring to us. However, AAHS is only one option. There are many other groups who specialize in helping animals or providing animal services.

Both Athens Clarke County and Oconee County have animal control agencies that are ready and willing to help.

There are also rescue groups that specialize in particular cases (such as feral cats or FIV positive animals).

AAHS will work with you to help you find the best option for your needs.

Remember: the Athens Area Humane Society can not save every animal in our area but we can and will provide the best care for those we can.

14. How does AAHS feel about Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) as a feral cat management strategy?

Athens Area Humane Society believes that no adoptable animal should be killed due to lack of cage space. However, we acknowledge that adult feral cats (un-socialized cats) are not considered adoptable. They have been removed from humane contact for extended periods and will be unable to adjust to living in homes within a timely manor. Trying to adopt these adult animals to homes can result in a dangerous situation for the owners and the cats.

With all the recent news on TNR, we are often asked how we fell about Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) for feral cats. Please note that the below position statement only refers to feral cats (unsolicited animals).


AAHS's Position Statement on TNR

Athens Area Humane Society believes that residents of Athens-Clarke County should be allowed to make their own decision in regards to Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return (TNR) or Trapping and Euthanizing (TE) of feral cats based on their individual situations. To make this possible Athens-Clarke County Animal Control should provide intake/euthanasia services for feral cats trapped and surrendered by residents.

We acknowledge the following:

a)  Free-roaming cats should not be released in all locations due to their own safety, the safety of endangered and threatened species, and the wishes of property owners.

b)   Unaltered pets should be kept inside so that they do not contribute to the issue of uncontrolled breeding.

c)   Adult feral cats are not considered adoptable. They have been removed from humane contact for extended periods and will be unable to adjust to living in homes within a timely manor. Trying to adopt these adult animals to homes can result in a dangerous situation for the owners and the cats.

d)   When a caregiver is willing to provide daily food, water and medical care when needed, TNR can be an appropriate method of feral cat population control for a specific area or colony. However, we also acknowledge that TNR is cost prohibitive on a mass scale.

e)   Trap/Euthanize can be effective as a way to remove feral cats from a specific area or colony. However, unless all surrounding cats are removed, feral cats will return to the location. Removing all surrounding cats will be impossible due to costs and the inability to trap all cats.

f)   Both TNR and TE have advantages and disadvantages. However, both could be employed and even with these two methods working together we still could not eradicate all feral cats from ACC. Individually both methods have proven successful for individual locations and colonies. Employing both methods could help to reduce the feral cat population more than any one individually employed method.

15. How to remove a feral cat from my property?

Many counties have animal controls that offer services for individuals dealing with feral cats. First you should check with them. However, if your animal control does not offer these services you can try one of the following options:

Veterinarian Service:


Oglethorpe Animal Clinic, Hwy 78 West, Lexington, GA 706-743-8021

  • You must trap the cat yourself and take it to the clinic
  • Must call ahead to insure they are open
  • Must bring in cat the day it is trapped
  • Cost: $28.00

  • Winterville Veterinary Clinic, 250 Henry Meyer Rd, Winterville, GA 30683 706-742-5108

  • Must call ahead and get all details

  • Private Companies: This is simply a courtesy list. AAHS does not endorse or recommend any wildlife removal companies.  The following companies will come to your property and trap/remove feral cats.  Please call them for a quote.

    AWL (678)762-1051
    Trutech Pest and Animal Control (706)208-8840
    Animals B-Gone (770) 757-1783