The way Susan Fornash sees it, the Madison Oglethorpe Animal Shelter is something of a match-maker.
“To find the right dog or cat for a person and the right person for our dogs and cats,” the new shelter director said.
Fornash will continue that quest of matching owner with pet in her new job. She took over shelter director duties Jan. 5 after serving as the Madison Oglethorpe Animal Shelter (MOAS) bookkeeper since November.
She’s a retired employee from the city of East Point, moving to Madison County 10 years ago.
Fornash feels her work background will help her lead the shelter, a place constantly strapped for funds.
“I think the fact that I have a lot of administrative experience, that’s one thing that I can offer to the shelter, plus my love of animals,” she said.
Among the objectives under her watch will be educating the public about the shelter.
In fact, she plans on visiting the schools to do just that, taking shelter dog “Goldie” — something of a mascot-ambassador for MOAS — along with her.
“I believe if we start with our children, in terms of education, that’s the way to go,” she said.
If there’s one word she wants to spread to the public, it’s that a spay and neuter clinic is available right under shelter’s roof and needs to be utilized.
The more dogs and cats spayed and neutered, the less litters of puppies and kittens dropped off at MOAS.
Fornash also wants to dispel the myth that there’s a “three-day rule” at the shelter, meaning that an animal is euthanized after three days if not adopted.
Not, true, Fornash said. Some dogs and cats have been at the shelter for months.
“People always think, oh, they kill dogs,” she said. “But, you know, it’s absolutely a last resort when it happens.”
Right now, there’s an entire shelter full of prospective pets — approximately 165 dogs and 80 cats — in need of a home.
Pets like, “Sunshine,” a 4-year-old boxer mix who’s been at the shelter for about a week after being hit by a car (she sustained minor injuries). Sunshine, this week’s MOAS Pet of the Week, joined Fornash in her office Monday as she worked.
“Somehow she just kind of touched me,” Fornash said.
SHELTER DOG LANDS ON NEWS
Fornash and the rest of the shelter staff enjoyed a success story last week when they saw a pit bull, who had originally been turned in to MOAS, on Channel 2 News.
The dog, named “Damon” by shelter workers during his stay, came to MOAS scarred from head to toe with a particularly bad neck wound.
The shelter suspected that Damon was a victim of dog fighting as a “bait dog.”
A rescue group took Damon to a vet in Atlanta, where he wound up as part of a Channel 2 News segment about dog fighting.
Because of the story, $2,000 has been raised for Damon’s veterinary bills. He is also headed to pit bull rehab.
“He’s gong to have a good life, which makes me very happy,” Fornash said. “Because he was a sweet dog.”
Educating the community is a great beginning. Bringing the dog to schools would be OK, if it didn't cause parents to "give in" to unrelenting pleas, only to return the pet to the shelter again. I went to the website to see the 200+ animals available but was very disappointed to find so few (30?) being advertised. Up to date info could be a good networking tool. I wish Ms. Fornash the best in lifting the cloud off of the MOAS and in making it what it intended to be for the MC community.