The primary focus of HSTC is to assist as many homeless pets as possible. However, we are not animal control. Animal control is a government service, paid for by the taxpayers of the community that picks up abandoned or nuisance animals, often referred to as “strays”. We operate under a “rescue” license under The Georgia Department of Agriculture, a state agency that has very specific laws dictating how and what types of pets we may take in. Our license with the Georgia Department of Agriculture prohibits us from taking in purely “stray” animals; these pets must be picked up by an agency licensed to so, such as animal control. In order for us to legally take in a pet, it must be formally surrendered to us by someone claiming to be its owner. If you know of a purely “stray” pet you would like to see removed, please contact your local animal control agency.
Many of the pets we do take in often require extensive medical rehabilitation before they will be able to be adopted into loving, forever homes. In this regard, we hope some day to have a no-kill animal sanctuary so that while these pets are awaiting their forever homes, they will be safe, secure and adequately cared for an enjoy a quality of life. A sanctuary would allow us additional housing for homeless pets. If you would like to assist us in making this dream a reality, please see the sections on this site for methods to donate and volunteer. Every penny we raise brings us closer to one day bringing no more homeless pets to this area. Unfortunately, there are only so many pets one can house in their own homes. We hate to turn away any homeless pets but we have limited space in our foster homes. If you have a pet you need to give up, please read our pet care and advice section on this website regarding suggestions on finding a home for your pet.
HSTC believes firmly in preventing pet over population. We strongly support the spaying and neutering of pets. Through the Rural Area Veterinary program (http://www.ruralareavet.org), HSTC has been able to spay and neuter hundreds of cats and dogs in our area. By targeting specifically low-income pet owners, we have been to prevent hundreds of unwanted litters of companion animals. Unfortunately, the Rural Area Veterinary program is quite vast and there is a long waiting list for rural communities and even other countries to host this clinic, making it difficult for us to be able to obtain their assistance in the future. Therefore, someday HSTC would like to be able to offer on-going assistance of spaying and neutering of pets to low-income pet owners. If you would like to assist us in raising funds or possibly even writing a grant to fund a formal spay and neuter program, please contact us, your assistance would be greatly appreciated.
Some members of HSTC have formed a group entitled S.T.A.F.F. (STray and Feral Friends). These volunteers have dedicated their time and resources to reducing the number of feral cats in southwest Georgia through a formal TNR program (Trap-Neuter-Release). Although not a free program, S.T.A.F.F. provides assistance to those who are taking full responsibility for caring for feral cat colonies in trapping, altering and releasing these cats so that over time, their numbers will reduce. If you would like to learn more about S.T.A.F.F., you may visit www.mystraycat.org.
HSTC believes we have a responsibility to our community to educate the public on proper pet care. Our members are happy to share whatever knowledge we have on providing pets with proper food, water, shelter and veterinary care to anyone who asks. However, we are not authorized to investigate cases of animal cruelty and neglect. These cases need to be reported to your local law enforcement and to your local animal control officer. While we take a firm stance against anyone that would harm or neglect a pet, we are not law enforcement. If you witness or suspect animal cruelty, please take the time to report it to your local animal control agency and your local police. This is a very serious crime and is punishable by law.