Donation from Local Business Owner Paves the Way for Pet Adoption in Catoosa County, Georgia

Thanks to a donation from businessman John Linderman, a dozen animals at Catoosa County Animal Shelter in Georgia have found a new home just in time for the holidays. Dozens more will be helped by his commitment to make a constant donation to the animal shelter throughout the year.

Catoosa County spokesperson John Pless said Linderman, owner of Linderman’s Furniture in Ringgold, Ga., Donated $ 600 to the animal shelter earlier this month, which enabled the county to offer half the adoption fee for all cats and dogs in its care. Within a week of the start of the promotion, 12 pets had been adopted.

(READ MORE: Catoosa County Animal Control Shelter Ends Saturday Adoptions)

“This donation allowed us to offer these adoptions at half the price. It means people were able to adopt a pet, perform a welfare check and have their pet sterilized for $ 30,” Pless said. during a phone call with the Times Free Press. “The fact that we were able to adopt 12 animals in one week is great for us and for the animals. We are not an establishment that accommodates a ton at a time, which goes a long way in relieving the population of our shelter. “

Pless said the response to the mid-term promotion was unlike anything the Catoosa County Animal Shelter has ever seen before. While other animal shelters in North Georgia have reported fluctuating adoption rates throughout the pandemic, he said those rates were fairly consistent in Catoosa County with a handful of adopted pets. on average every week. There was a drop in weekend adoptions that led to the decision to end Saturday adoption services at the shelter in October, but if not, Pless said things were normal. There weren’t a large number of people returning pets immediately after adopting them, which he said has been a common trend throughout the pandemic at many shelters, and it looked like families could get pets whenever they looked for them.

Because of this, the sudden demand for pets after the rebate offer was, as he called it, “shocking.”

“We’ve never had a response like this to a mid-term promotion,” Pless said. “It is an amazing and wonderful thing, however, it is also why we are no longer able to offer the reduced price.”

The half-price promotion was originally scheduled to run until Wednesday, December 22, but Pless said the county could not afford the cost of continuing to offer the discount. Even with Linderman’s gift, it’s too expensive.

Staff Photo of Troy Stolt / A Labrador whose name is unknown and currently available for adoption at the Catoosa County Animal Shelter is seen on Tuesday, December 14, 2021 in Chattanooga, Tenn.

(READ MORE: Animal shelters in Chattanooga are at or near capacity)

“It’s great that so many people took advantage of this promotion, and we wish we had the funding to support it more, but when we lower the price, we as a shelter have to make up the difference in what we pay to the people. veterinarians for the cost of the procedures and the well-being check-up, ”he said. Linderman is a wonderful man and it is a very kind and generous thing that he has done. He saw a need and he made a donation, and we appreciate that. We encourage anyone who thinks they want to do something similar to do it, so that we can do more things like this. “

For his part, Linderman told The Times Free Press that he plans to continue donating to the Catoosa County Animal Shelter “four or five times a year” so that they can more regularly support adoptions at half the cost. . He has long donated to the McKamey Animal Center and the Humane Educational Society in Chattanooga and said that while he will continue to do so, seeing the good that a single donation can do locally is particularly inspiring.

“Local shelters like the one in Catoosa County don’t have the funding that some of these others do. I own a local store in Ringgold, GA, and live here, so it meant a lot to me to be able to help with this shelter, ”Linderman said. “The goal of the involvement is to help clean up the shelter and find homes for animals, but it can be done. If it’s that easy as saying we’ll cover the adoption costs for the people who are genuinely interested in adopting animals for their families, we’ll do it that way. If it’s fundraising or going to other locals to get their participation, we can do that too. “

Currently, the cost of adopting a dog or cat at the Catoosa County Animal Shelter is $ 60, which includes the cost of sterilization and a welfare check. Pless said smaller donations to the shelter mean families can also get a free toy or amount of pet food to take with their furry friend, although this is not guaranteed and is subject to availability.

(READ MORE: Two new shelter directors talk about animal welfare in Chattanooga)

For a full list of animals available for adoption at the Catoosa County Animal Shelter, visit the shelter in person from 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., Monday through Friday at 101 Allmond Lane in Ringgold, or visit the shelter for Catoosa County animals Facebook page. Those interested in donating to the shelter can contact via Facebook or call (706) 935-2454.

Contact Kelcey Caulder at [email protected] or 423-757-6327. Follow her on Twitter @kelceycaulder.