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$10,000 Gifted In Honor of 10,000th Surgery

We have a HUGE announcement and accomplishment to share! Last month, the Planned PEThood surgery team helped talented veterinarian, Dr. Murphy, perform her 10,000th surgery at Planned PEThood of Georgia. In honor of the incredible accomplishment, Fix Georgia Pets and Georgia Pet Foundation generously donated $10,000 to help our spay/neuter efforts as we continue our mission to help Georgia’s pets. 

Planned PEThood’s surgery team makes an incredible, positive impact on the pet overpopulation crisis. Across Georgia, thousands of dogs and cats end up in animal shelters each year and are killed for lack of space and existing homes. This puts an immense burden on animal shelters, who work tirelessly to provide care for way too many unwanted animals. Pet overpopulation is not just a shelter problem, it’s a community problem, typically caused by uncontrolled breeding. Fortunately, there is a simple solution – please make sure that all of your pets and those of family and friends are spayed or neutered. Planned PEThood offers affordable, accessible spay/neuter services to help make it happen.

In addition to our extensive spay/neuter efforts for pet owners, Planned PEThood continues to make a tremendous impact on animals in rural shelters and communities across Georgia. Our unique Go Fix Georgia program is dedicated to improving spay/neuter access to rural animal shelters and underserved communities across Georgia. Each week, animals from various rural animal shelters travel to Planned PEThood’s Duluth clinic, where our veterinary team performs spay/neuter surgeries and, on occasion, emergency procedures, before safely transporting these animals to their shelters where they await their forever homes. While these rural counties do not have access to affordable veterinary care options, Planned PEThood of Georgia is here to help. 

The generous gift from Fix Georgia Pets and Georgia Pet Foundation will help Planned PEThood continue to provide low-cost, affordable spay/neuter services to pet owners and these rural shelters. Fix Georgia Pets strives to provide strategic grants and solutions for spay/neuter programs to help end pet overpopulation and stop the euthanasia of healthy animals in Georgia. Georgia Pet Foundation is committed to making Georgia a no-kill state. To accomplish this goal, we must end pet overpopulation. The most effective means of doing so is providing widespread low-cost, statewide spay/neuter programs. Georgia Pet Foundation is the sponsor organization for the Spay Neuter license plate and uses these funds for spay/neuter grants. By purchasing a Georgia Pet Foundation License plate, you help fund free and low-cost spay and neuter programs across the state. Learn how to purchase a Georgia Pet Foundation License Plate and help save lives today.

Learn more about Fix Georgia Pets and Georgia Pet Foundation.

We want to give a huge THANK YOU to Fix Georgia Pets and Georgia Pet Foundation for their amazing gift. Their generous donation will help save lives and keep pets with their families.

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Benefits of Spay and Neuter

February is Spay and Neuter Awareness Month! A whole month dedicated to encouraging people to save animals’ lives by spaying and neutering pets and community cats. Here at Planned PEThood of Georgia, we love to encourage spaying and neutering every day!

There are dozens of benefits of spaying and neutering your pets, but they can be divided into three main categories: health, behavior, and population control.

  1. Eliminate unwanted behaviors.Spaying and neutering can have a big impact on your pet’s behavior. Spayed and neutered animals are less prone to spraying and marking and may even stop it altogether. Spaying/neutering also reduces the urge to roam, especially when females are in heat. Less roaming will make your pet less likely to be injured in fights or auto accidents and decrease the risk of contracting diseases. Spay/neuter also reduces aggressive behavior, including biting.
  2. Help your pet’s health. The chances are greatly reduced that your pet will get several serious, life-threatening, and expensive health problems. Spaying/neutering reduces or eliminates the risk of certain cancers, such as uterine, breast, or testicular cancer. It can also eliminate pyometra, a very severe infection of the uterus, andeliminate prostate problems in male dogs. Spaying and neutering your pets will increase his/her chances of a longer and healthier life. Altering your pet will increase their lifespan by an average of 1-3 years for dogs and 3-5 years for felines. The life expectancy of spayed/neutered pets is up to 26% longer than that of intact pets, according to the University of Georgia.
  1. Help prevent pet overpopulation.Spaying/neutering is the only way to reduce the number of unwanted litters. In the greater Atlanta area, thousands of dogs and cats end up in animal shelters each year and are killed for lack of space and lack of existing homes. Unwanted litters place a tremendous burden on shelters. Many times we tend to blame the animal shelters, but pet overpopulation is a community problem. There is a simple solution – be a responsible pet guardian and make sure that all of your pets and those of family and friends are spayed or neutered.

At Planned PEThood, we offer low-cost spay/neuter options to help keep pet ownership affordable and to keep pets with their families. Learn more about our services and book an appointment today!

If your pets are already spayed/neutered, spread the word and put your support behind this important cause. The more people that know about the importance of spay and neuter, the better!

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Help for 240 Habersham County Pets and Their Parents

In December, Habersham County pet owners and their pets received much-needed assistance. Planned PEThood’s team, Go Fix Georgia, teamed up with Habersham County Animal Care and Control to host a Community Pet Clinic offering, free vet care and supplies to pet owners in need, just in time for the holidays.

The need for outreach events like this was obvious as people started to line up hours before the event even started. Our team and Habersham’s team worked tirelessly helping a continuous line of animals whose owners drove through the pop-up event. It was brutally cold and the wind made things hard for our team, but we persevered. In just over four hours, we were able to see 240 adorable, deserving pets. That’s 20% more than what we promised! 

We are thrilled that we were able to help so many cats and dogs receive free vaccines, microchips, flea preventative, pet supplies, and more. More than half of the pets served applied for spay and neuter vouchers which demonstrates a huge need for the service in the county. Providing spay and neuter services helps with reducing the overcrowding pressures animal shelters face.

There were many amazing organizations and volunteers who came together to help make this event such a success. THANK YOU ALL! Our team could not have done it without the assistance of Habersham County Animal Care and Control and the Allen Family, who sponsored this incredible event. Without their contributions, this event would not have been possible. We hope to work with Habersham County Animal Care and Control to help more pets and people in Habersham County in the future. 

Other Assistance Provided By: Atlanta Humane Society and Petco Love

Make sure to check our emails and social media for upcoming outreach event dates. We are always looking for partner companies or individuals to sponsor outreach events. Please email tweaver@PEThoodGA.org if you or your company might be interested in giving back.

Read more about the event in this excellent article that explains the need for community outreach events.

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Feral Cat Day

In honor of Feral Cat Day, a local cat advocate made a generous contribution that enabled us to offer FREE services for feral cats! During our two-day event, 77 community cats were spayed, neutered, and rabies vaccinated.��

One unfixed female cat can produce up to 5 litters a year, starting at just 4 months of age, making spaying and neutering a critical need. Trap, Neuter, and Return (T.N.R.) is the only humane solution to reduce the suffering caused by the overpopulation of cats. Once cats are fixed, they return to where they were trapped to continue living their life!��

People who are involved in T.N.R. usually spend their own time, money, and resources to help cats in their communities- so this event was SO appreciated. Our anonymous donor expressed that witnessing this event was “one of the best days of her life.” It was heartwarming all around.

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Gwinnett County Residents and Their Pets Get the Help They Need!

This October, Gwinnett County pet owners and their pets received much-needed assistance. Planned PEThood’s outreach team, Go Fix Georgia, teamed up with Subaru of Gwinnett and Gwinnett County Animal Welfare and Enforcement to provide free veterinary care and pet supplies to pet owners in need. 

Our team saw a whopping 322 adorable, deserving pets in just over four hours! That’s a whole lot of good in such a short time! In total, we were able to help 207 dogs and 115 cats. We’re thrilled that we were able to help so many dogs and cats receive free vaccines, microchips, flea medication, pet supplies, and more. Even more impressive is that 61% of pets were unaltered and 32% had never been to a vet before. Now, they have basic medical care and will be sterilized within the next few months. 

The need for outreach events like this was abundantly clear. Tons of people lined up early in the morning, some getting there hours before the event started. Owning a pet right now is hard as vet care and supply prices continue to grow. Vet care might be the last thing you can afford. These events help ensure the wellness of pets in the community and reduce overpopulation through free spay/neuter. We plan to continue working with Gwinnett County and other counties to host outreach events like this in the future. 

There were so many amazing organizations and volunteers who came together to help make this event successful. Without their support, this would never have been possible. Our Go Fix Georgia team could not have done it without our event sponsor, Subaru of Gwinnett and the ASPCA & Subaru Loves Pets Grant. Not only does Subaru of Gwinnett put their company’s name and resources behind animal welfare efforts, but they are also personally committed to the cause. It’s incredible of them to celebrate their ‘Subaru Loves Pets’ month by helping the underdogs right in our community. 

Other Assistance: Gwinnett County Animal Welfare and Enforcement, Atlanta Humane SocietyPetco Love

Make sure to check our emails and social media for upcoming outreach event dates. We are always looking for partner companies or individuals to sponsor outreach events. Please email tweaver@PEThoodGA.org if you or your company might be interested in giving back.

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Calling All Cat Lovers! How To Celebrate Happy Cat Month

Calling all cat lovers! Happy Cat Month is celebrated every September. It’s a whole month dedicated to our feline friends and their well-being. CATalyst Council created this annual event to educate and inform cat owners on what they can do to ensure their pet is happy and healthy. 

Here are a few suggestions for pet parents to keep their feline fur babies happily purring:

Spend time with your cat

Cats LOVE attention and spending time with their owners. Snuggling, petting, and playing can be a fantastic way to spend time with your cat. Training your cat is another great way to spend time with your cat and help strengthen the bond between you and your fur baby. Cats are smart and food-oriented. Training them to do fun tricks or simple commands is a great physical and mental stimulation for felines. 

Keep your cat entertained

There are so many ways to do this! One of the easiest ways to make a cat happy and keep them entertained is with a new toy. Remember, not all toys have to be store-bought. Cats absolutely love a good, empty box. An empty box can entertain cats for hours. Cat scratching is not only mentally stimulating, but it is also good for their health. There are various cat scratchers you can find to set up around your home. Some cats enjoy watching TV. While it may seem silly, there are numerous videos on YouTube created to keep cats entertained. 

Keep your cat healthy

Schedule regular visits to the veterinarian to make sure your cat is healthy and free of any diseases or other health problems. Remember, a healthy cat is a happy cat. Yearly wellness visits can help catch medical issues early and ensure your cat is up-to-date on vaccinations. 

Give your cat a buddy

Most felines love the company of another kitty. Cats are social animals and enjoy having a playmate. Pet parents can visit a local animal shelter or rescue organization to find a feline friend for their fur baby. Having another cat can improve their quality of life.

Microchip your cat

Microchipping provides permanent identification in case your cat becomes lost. When scanned at a local shelter or vet, a microchip can show all your contact information to help your cat be reunited with you. It’s better to be prepared in case your cat is separated from you. Even if your cat is an indoor cat and never leaves the house, it’s a good idea to have a microchip in case the unexpected happens. 

These are just a few things to do to help your cat be happy and healthy. Happy Cat Month to your furry feline friends from all of us at Planned PEThood! 

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Meet Scooter, The Enviro-Cool Office Cat

This sweet, spunky girl, Scooter, was adopted from Planned PEThood back in 2014. Her story starts off terribly sad, but now she is living her best life as the official Envrio-Cool office cat. She’s kind of a big deal at Enviro-Cool. She wears many hats as President and CEO of Enviro-Cool. 

Although Scooter now lives her best life, she unfortunately came from a rough beginning. Someone found her after being hit and dragged by a car. Luckily, she had no broken bones but Scooter ended up needing skin grafts. She had a very long road to recovery involving lots of bandage changes. With lots of TLC from her foster family and medical help, she made a wonderful recovery. 

Scooter’s adoption photo from 2014

After hearing her story and seeing her heartbreaking photos, Mike and Carl, from Enviro-Cool, decided to adopt from Planned PEThood. Scooter has lived full-time as an office cat for 9 years with her 17-year-old friend, Kiwi, at Enviro-Cool. They say she is so friendly to everyone who comes into the office. Carl and Mike try to convince everyone to save a life and share an office with a shelter cat. They say having an office cat is such an icebreaker and a conversation piece with clients and customers. Scooter will lay on the table during meetings and everyone loves it. Carl and Mike believe office cats are great for morale and we have to agree! They say “If you want to succeed in business, you need an office cat”.

We’re thrilled to hear that Scooter is living such a wonderful life in such a caring office! If your business is interested in adopting an office cat, check out our cats currently available for adoption.

See this story on TikTok and follow us there as well!

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Lost Pet Prevention Month: How You Can Help Your Pet

Pets are a part of the family. The last thing you want is for something to separate them from you – a door is left open, your dog slips out of its collar, or your cat takes an unapproved field trip without you. Unfortunately, 1 in 3 pets will become lost at some point in their lifetime. Tragically, many of these pets may not ever find their way back home. Losing a pet is like losing a loved one. It’s an experience no one should ever have to go through. National Lost Pet Prevention Month serves as the perfect reminder to make sure your pet stays safe and doesn’t get lost. 

Here are 6 helpful tips to make sure you don’t lose your pet: 

1. Microchip your pets. Microchipping is a simple, inexpensive, and effective way to increase the chances that your pet will return home if lost. A microchip is a tiny electronic chip, about the size of a grain of rice, that is injected under your pet’s skin between the shoulder blades. When scanned by a microchip scanner, the microchip transmits an identification number. Animal shelters and veterinary clinics scan a pet’s microchip to get this identification number, then contact the registry in order to find contact information for the owners. The unique identification number doesn’t do any good unless you register it with a National Pet Recovering Database with your up-to-date contact information. Not sure which company to call? Type in your pet’s chip number at https://old.petmicrochiplookup.org/. Can’t find your pet’s chip number? Come by our clinic or any clinic and just ask them to check it for you. Planned PEThood offers microchips through our Spay/Neuter Clinic and our Wellness Clinic for only $25 and that includes registration. 

2. Get a secure collar with ID tags. While your pet may never travel farther than your backyard or may never go outside at all, all pets should wear a collar with an ID. The ID should have their owner’s current contact information, including your pet’s name, your name, address, and phone number. You never know when your furry friend might make a mad dash out the door to investigate something. It’s important to check your dog’s collar routinely to make sure it’s still in proper shape. Collars can become loose and fall off or become torn. Tags are available at most pet stores and even many Walmart locations. 

3. Use leashes and carriers when outside the house. It’s important to use leashes or carriers when visiting the vet or when venturing outside. When you have your pets outside and not confined by a fenced yard, keep them on a leash. This will ensure they don’t run off to chase a squirrel and end up getting lost. This is especially important when you’re away from home in unfamiliar territory.

4. Secure your yard and home. One of the most common ways pets get lost is when they escape their yard. Make sure to routinely check the fencing around your yard to ensure they can’t wiggle through it or dig their way out. From fallen limbs to flash floods, many things can cause fences to become insecure, making it easier to escape. 

5. Make sure to spay/neuter your pets. Sterilizing your cat/dog reduces his/her urge to roam and get lost. When male pets aren’t neutered, they have a higher tendency to seek out females. This means that an unneutered pet is more likely to wander off from home and get lost trying to seek out female dogs. Female dogs also benefit from spaying surgery. Aggressive males can cause females to bolt. Male pets that haven’t been neutered also experience behavioral issues that make them less likely to recall or listen to commands. 

6. Pay attention to your pet. Paying attention to your pet is an easy way to prevent your pet from getting lost. No matter where you take your pet, you should pay attention to them and their surroundings, especially in unfamiliar locations. Your pet should always be in eyesight of you. Whether they’re in your backyard, at a dog park, or visiting friends or family, supervising your pets will prevent them from escaping. 

Keeping your pets safe, happy, and healthy is the most important thing you can do. Even if you believe you are the safest pet parent in the world, it’s a good idea to review these tips. While you’re at it, give them a big hug!

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Fantastic Volunteers Help 17 Community Cats Through TNR

Two fantastic Planned PEThood volunteers and dedicated fosters, Melissa and Shannon, spent their Memorial Day helping community cats and preventing overpopulation in the Buford area. Together they trapped 17 cats and kittens. That’s a lot of cats in one day!

An elderly woman who lives with her disabled daughter, neither of whom drives, had called and asked for assistance. They were concerned about the growing number of cats and kittens around their house.

Melissa and Shannon are seasoned feral cat trappers and were more than happy to help. They spent about 4 hours trapping cats. It was exhausting but rewarding! They trapped those 17 cats and then brought them into our Duluth clinic for their spay/neuter surgery and vaccines. The kitties then went home with several different volunteers to recover from their surgeries. All the surgeries were covered by a grant from Second Life Atlanta. Their thrift store in Avondale Estates provides charities around Georgia with critical income to help in situations like these.

Planned PEThood kept two friendly adults, who Melissa is fostering, and the five kittens, who another wonderful foster is fostering, in hopes of finding them forever homes. The babies were hand pulled from underneath a wood pile. Can you believe it? 

The remaining 10 cats were released back to where they were found after they recovered. The kind woman who called will continue to feed the colony without having to worry about the population growing out of control. Those 10 cats who were returned to their outdoor home were also ear tipped, which will allow people to tell from a distance whether or not they have been spayed/neutered. This will save the cats the stress of being trapped and anesthetized a second time. 

TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return) is the ONLY effective way to manage outdoor cat populations. Left unaltered, these cats can reproduce, and before long there will be dozens of community cats living in your neighborhood. TNR helps prevent the birth of unwanted litters AND the unnecessary euthanization of cats in shelters. 

You can trap community cats near you! We offer humane trap loans to the public at no cost, so you can TNR community cats in your neighborhood, at your workplace, or anywhere you’ve seen them.

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Two Special Needs Kitties Find Their Forever Home Together

After overcoming life-threatening medical issues and spending over a year in foster care, we are excited to share that Haze and Roger have found their forever home -TOGETHER! 

These loveable boys have spent over a year with their dedicated foster moms waiting to find their forever homes. Haze and Roger are some of the friendliest cats, but due to their variety of medical issues, they have struggled to find an adoptive home. That all changed when Haze attended the Cat Extravaganza show with his foster mom in early May. 

Haze came to Planned PEThood in June of 2022 when the nice lady caring for Haze noticed he desperately needed help. After he was rescued from an outdoor life, it was determined that he might not survive. He was barely a year old but already incredibly sick. Haze tested positive for FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus), a common infectious disease that affects cats’ immune systems, had an upper respiratory infection, a possible heart issue, very bad teeth, and more. However, with good vet care and extra TLC from his foster mom, Patti, Haze proved he was a fighter and became a thriving, healthy cat. He may be FIV positive, have a few allergies, and have no teeth, but he is a lovable kitty with a great personality. 

Roger came to Planned PEThood in September of 2021 as a kitten with all kinds of medical issues. He struggled through calicivirus, a highly contagious respiratory infection, and chronic rhinitis, a common complication of upper respiratory infections that can cause permanent damage to the nasal passageways and result in frequent infections and ongoing issues. He almost didn’t make it as a kitten, but he was a trooper. Thanks to our medical staff and his foster mom, Karen, he is doing well. Although Roger has chronic upper respiratory issues, Roger is a very friendly kitty who loves cats, dogs, and people. 

Their new mom met Haze at the Cat Extravaganza event and fell in love. She lost her senior rescue kitty a few months earlier and was ready to adopt a new feline friend. After meeting Haze, she decided to adopt him, but she was interested in a buddy for Haze. Patti suggested Roger. These two are like brothers and have so much fun together, so it’s the perfect match. She is ready to spoil them.

It’s been a tough goodbye for Haze and Roger’s foster moms after caring for these boys for such a long time, but they are both thrilled that Haze and Roger found a forever home together. Karen and Patty will even be babysitting the boys while their new mom is on vacation.

Happy life Haze and Roger! We wish you both the best life at your new home!

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