Keep Your Paws to Yourself!

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Sugar is sporting her best Yellow Dog bandanna!

We all do it. After all, it’s hard to see a dog being walked down the street and not want to stop for a quick pat or two! Most of us don’t even think twice about petting that cute canine companion; however, there are many things people fail to consider when meeting a pet out in public.

Firstly, it’s important to remember that every dog is different. Just like people have varying personalities, dogs do too! While some pooches might be thrilled to receive an ear scratch or chest rub, others might be skittish and see even the most innocent of actions as a threat or danger.

Secondly, it’s always proper etiquette to ask the owner’s permission to give their pet attention. Just because owner and dog are taking a walk in a public place, it doesn’t mean their walking buddy is public property, as well! The reality is the dog might be a recent rescue, might have just underwent surgery, or they might even be a service dog.

While many people with service dogs choose to fit their pup with a vest, Federal law does not require service animals to wear any indicating gear or require identification to be carried because some disabled individuals don’t want to be seen as “different” or labeled as “disabled.”

Of course, rescue pups aren’t all scared or aggressive either! Rescue dogs can be just as loving and adaptable as any other dog. Still, you never know if the pooch might be recovering from a recent surgery. At the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia, we spay/neuter each pet before sending them off to their forever home. It’s never good to get an animal overly excited right after surgery, nor is it always easy to tell that the pet is still recovering.

So what’s the easiest way to know if a pet is alright to be petted? Ask!

There are even some groups and movements that have devised special ways to let potential petters know if approaching an animal is okay! One such movement is the “Yellow Dog Project.”

yellow dog banner

The Yellow Dog Project was founded in September, 2012 and already boasts a proud spread to over 45 countries. The movement was created “to bring awareness to the general public about dogs who need space while training, recovering from surgery, or being rehabilitated.”

How can you recognize a “Yellow Dog?” It’s as simple as taking a quick look! “DINOS” (or, “dogs in need of space”) are easily identifiable by the color of their walking gear! To participate in the Yellow Dog Project, a pooch simply needs to be wearing a bright yellow color somewhere that’s easily visible. A yellow leash, collar, or ribbon are all valid representations of a pup that shouldn’t be played with while out on the town!

Every year, more than 800,000 Americans receive medical attention for dog bites, and at least half of them are children. By observing the rules of the Yellow Dog Project, and educating your children to ask before petting, we can make the sidewalks a safer place for both people and pups at play!

yellow dog poster

Information for this post was compiled from the following sites:

The Yellow Dog Project Facebook Page

Anything Pawsable – How can I tell if a Service Dog is legitimate?

AVMA – Dog Bite Prevention

Written by Kelly Kucera, HSNEGA Marketing Communications Intern

“Be an Angel” Day – Help an Animal in Need


           You’ve had a bad day. Your 9-5 office job was particularly insufferable and you had way too much on your plate to even think about what you’re going to eat for dinner. So, as a last resort, you pull through a fast food restaurant drive-thru. However, as you pull around to the window to pay, the cashier leans out with a bright smile and informs you that your meal has already been paid for in full by the person in front of you.

           You’re so ecstatic that the kind gesture nearly brings you to tears. How could that stranger have known what you really needed was a kind act to turn your terrible day into a good one? Feeling uplifted by your experience, you decide to return the favor by paying for the order of the person behind you. Before long, the drive-thru has become a regular chain of positivity. Sounds like a dream come true, right? Actually, you can just as easily make this dream a reality, but for the homeless animals awaiting their family at the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia (HSNEGA)!

          August 22 is “Be an Angel” day, and random acts of kindness are what the uncommonly known holiday is all about. Founded in 1993 by Jayne Howard Feldman, Be an Angel day has always been a day about putting others first and yourself on the back-burner. Even if you’re not familiar with Be an Angel day, you might have heard the phrase ‘“Pay it Forward.” Not only is it a good motto to live by but it’s an adage HSNEGA relies upon. Because HSNEGA is a non-profit organization, the generosity of others in support of our mission brightens our day like nothing else!

         We even have a sponsorship program for the rescued animals in our care called Adoption Angel! By becoming an Adoption Angel, donors can reach out a helping hand to one of our adoptable dogs or cats by paying a portion of their listed adoption fee. Paying to lower adoption fees can prove to be the perfect motivator that someone needs to come and take a furry friend home today!

adoption angel animals taco

         With the Adoption Angel Lock-In closing in upon us on this Friday, August 26, Be An Angel day provides the perfect opportunity for animal-lovers in the community“Pay it Forward” and help out an animal in need. So, if you were looking for a sign from above, then here it is! When you choose to make a contribution to either the Adoption Angel program or Lock-In, you can be assured you just made an animal’s life change for the better. Thank you for being an angel!

lock-in IG post

-To donate to our Adoption Angel Lock-In click here.
-For more information about the Adoption Angel Program click here.

Written by Kelly Kucera, HSNEGA Marketing Communications Intern

Importance of Animal Enrichment


Imagine being locked inside your room 24/7 with only a bed, a bowl of food, and water. That’s right. No electronics, books, magazines or anything else to entertain you.  You would have so much pent up energy you would go crazy jumping and yelling for joy at the first chance you had to get out.

This scenario is what rescued animals in selective admission facilities face every single day. Some live in a kennel for months and months on end.  Thankfully, facilities like the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia (HSNEGA) have found a way to help our four-legged friends pass the time with a method called animal enrichment.

Animal enrichment increases the behavioral wellness of animals living in kennels with mental and physical stimulation.  This stimulation comes in many different forms for canines and felines.  For canines, it can mean placing various toys in an animal’s kennel each week, especially toys that make them work for treats or food.  One favorite are peanut butter stuffed Kongs that can be put  in the freezer for a frozen treat that will be a fun source of entertainment.

You may have been to one of our recent events, Yappy Hour, which benefited the rescued animals in our Adoption Center by allowing HSNEGA to purchase new enrichment toys for our animals such as some wonderful toys from Jolly Pets.  Jolly Pets also donated extra toys to HSNEGA for even more fun!  As you can see in the picture above, one of our now HSNEGA alums, Aspen, had a blast playing with all the toys.

Kong Drive #1

Teaching dogs simple tricks such as “sit” and “stay” is another great way to give dogs mental enrichment while also helping make them more adoptable.  HSNEGA also keeps our canines happy by having volunteers take them every day to exercise in the outdoor runs.  Our volunteers are the best because they spend time socializing the dogs to better prepare them for life with their forever family.


Animal enrichment for cats is very similar.  At HSNEGA, our cats go into a feline frenzy over any and every toy!  We also know they need their own space to get away from all of the craziness at the shelter which is why some of the proceeds from our Yappy Hour event also went towards the purchase of cat portals.  If you don’t know much about felines, they need separate spaces to go to the bathroom and rest.  The cat portals make it easier for HSNEGA to give our fabulous felines the space they need to thrive.  And just like our dogs they always get socialization time each day with our wonderful volunteers.

Now, go out into the world and give some fun animal enrichment to your own four-legged friend!

Written by Leah Hodges, HSNEGA Marketing Communications Intern

When Trey Met Chancey

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Less than a year ago, Trey Wilson came to the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia (HSNEGA) looking for a life-long companion after the passing of his mother. Growing up, Trey, who uses a wheelchair, had been around dogs, but never really considered having his own pet from fear that the dog might pull him around or cause too much stress.

But last year, Trey’s perspective changed after hanging around his friend’s dog, who was extremely sweet and calm. Trey decided to reconsider, and reached out to Julie Edwards, HSNEGA Executive Director, in hopes to find the paw-fect friend. That’s where the sweetest of friendships started… When Trey met Chancey.


In September 2015, the lives of two individuals changed forever. Trey gave Chancey a second chance at a happy life while Chancey gave Trey the independence he needed. “I was afraid of leaving my street before I adopted Chancey. Now I am no longer afraid and am able to go more places than ever before,” said Trey when asked the biggest impact Chancey has made in his life. These two were truly destined to be together.

“I always tell people ‘the dog finds you’ and, in Trey’s case, that was so true,” says Julie. “When he visited the Humane Society, Chancey was not on our list of dogs for him to consider. She was very timid and we thought he needed a dog who was less reserved. But as Trey toured the adoption room, Chancey caught his eye and he insisted on meeting her. We were hesitant, but then astounded at how quickly Chancey responded to Trey, as well. They saw something in each other that we could not see. It was truly love at first sight!”


Fast forward to today and Trey has trained Chancey to be his official service dog. The two take morning walks together around the Gainesville Square, eat together at local restaurants, shop together and do everything that best friends do. Trey has also taught Chancey a myriad of cool tricks to assist him with his day-to-day life including picking up his shoes, putting clothes into the washing machine, and has just started agility training with her.

“Most people would never consider a shelter dog as having the potential to be a trained service dog, but Chancey is a perfect example of how even a ‘mutt’ can possess the smarts and skill to provide assistance,” says Julie.

trey wilson

This love story is surely a match made in heaven. A man who needed a friend. A little brown dog who needed a home. And a happily ever after ending.

Come stop by our Adoption Center, located at 845 West Ridge Road in Gainesville,  Tue-Sat 10-5 and Sun 12-5 to find your very own Chancey!

Written by Caroline White, Marketing Communications Intern

A Guide For Youth Who Love Animals


You may know a child who has animal obsession syndrome. They spend more time hanging out with their pets than they do with human friends. You may have even caught your own child acting as an animal paparazzi! Thankfully the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia (HSNEGA) has a solution for you!  Here you will find numerous ways to keep up with their animal obsession while helping animals find their forever homes at the same time.

  • Volunteer: The easiest way to satisfy a child’s time around animals is to sign them up to be a volunteer at their local humane society or animal shelter.  Volunteering is free and most shelters are flexible when it comes to your availability.  Shelters rely heavily on volunteers to take out animals for walks and socialize them.  Who wouldn’t want to spend their free time playing with puppies and kittens all day anyway?  If you would like to sign your child up to be a volunteer at HSNEGA, you can do so here: Volunteer Page
  •  Summer Camps:  Once the kids are out of school for the summer, they can easily get  bored sitting around the house. HSNEGA offers a summer camp for kids ages 7-9 and  10-12 during June and July.  This camp consists of teaching safe animal interaction, special visitors, arts and crafts, and of course playtime with our animals! If you are interested in this summer’s camp, you can find more information and register here: Pet P.A.L.S Summer Camp 2016


  • Fundraise:  Instead of hosting a lemonade stand, kids can host a fundraiser for their local shelter. Many shelters rely on donations to help cover the costs of animals in their care. If your child is interesting in donating, here is HSNEGA’s donation page: Donation Page
  • Education Programs:  HSNEGA offers programs to teach children humane education. One of our year-round programs is Reading & Rescues. During this program, kids read to our adoptable animals to help reduce their stress and socialize them!  During the school year, we offer another program called Pet PALS Kids Club.  Just like our Pet PALS Summer Camp, kids will participate in fun filled activities and crafts centered around animals.  If you would like to set up a time for your children or students to participate in one of our educational programs, please contact our Community Relations Director Samantha Threadgill at
  • Supply Drive: Animal shelters are always in need of various supplies. It can range from cleaning supplies such as bleach and dish detergent to dog and cat food. Your child can contact their local shelter or check the shelter’s Website for a wish list of needed items.  To help out HSNEGA, you can find our Wish List here:  HSNEGA Wish List


Written by Leah Hodges, HSNEGA Marketing Communications Intern


Pet-Friendly Fourth of July


Each year on July 4, Americans everywhere celebrate Independence Day.  Typically, the day is filled with cookouts, drinks, music, and fireworks.  Unfortunately, it’s also the day when the most pets are lost and is riddled with potential hazards for your four-legged friends. Here at the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia (HSNEGA) we have come up with tips to keep your pets safe and happy this Fourth of July.

  • Avoid feeding your pets table scraps.

    Barbecues and burgers galore are abundant on Independence Day. Your family and friends are out enjoying the best food and don’t want to leave out your four legged friends. Giving your pets table scraps might seem like a good idea, but switching up their diet can be harmful. Any change in your pet’s diet can cause severe indigestion and diarrhea. If you want to give something extra to your pet on this special day, give them some frozen pupsicles for a delicious and fun treat. (Go to our Cool Canines Blog Post for more info on making dog-friendly frozen treats)

  • Never leave alcoholic drinks unattended where pets can reach them.

    Alcoholic drinks have the potential to poison pets. Your pet may be attracted to the unfamiliar smell and want to have a taste, but it can cause them to become very intoxicated and weak.  In cases of severe alcohol poisoning, pets can die from respiratory failure. Please make sure your pet drinks responsibly (aka: only water).

  • Protect your pet from heatstroke during festivities.

    Many Fourth of July celebrations take place outside in the full sun. In order to keep your four-legged friends from experiencing heatstroke, give them access to plenty of fresh water and time in the shade or air conditioned house. Tying a slightly frozen bandanna on them or providing a small kiddie pool to lounge in are other great ways to keep them cool outdoors.

  • Do not apply sunscreen or insect repellent unless it is labeled specifically for use on animals.

    Animals come in all shapes, sizes, and colors.  If your animal has a white coat, it is a good idea to slather some sunscreen on them to protect your pet from sunburn. However, ingestion of sunscreens and insect repellents that are not for use on animals can cause vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, and lethargy. Check your local pet store for pet-specific products.

  • Keep your pet safely away from fireworks.

    Many people love to watch fireworks, but for animals they can be terrifying and they may bolt from fear.. Please resist the urge to take your pets with you to any firework celebrations. Instead keep them safe from noise in a quiet area within your home that is escape proof.

  • Safeguard your pet with proper I.D.

    All pets, even those who live indoors, should always wear proper I.D. More pets are lost on Fourth of July than any other day of the year. Make sure your pet is wearing a collar with an I.D. tag and have them micro-chipped.

Microchips help reunite lost animals with their owners if they are found away from home and are taken to a vet’s office or picked up by animal be scanned for a chip.  HSNEGA offers a 24 hour Pet Watch Microchips for a new LOWER PRICE of $20 for a U.S. chip. Visit our Wellness Clinic to schedule an appointment.

Written by Leah Hodges, HSNEGA Marketing Communications Intern

Information for this post was compiled from the following articles:
July 4th Safety-AVMA
July Fourth Fireworks-Humane Society




Canine Water Safety


Summer is a popular time for swimming, whether it’s at a pool, lake, or beach.  Here at the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia (HSNEGA) we want to keep you and your pooch safe when you go out for a paddle.

You’ve probably heard that canines are natural-born swimmers, but that isn’t always the case.  Before letting your dog jump into the pool or the waves, make sure they know how to swim.  Here’s some guidance from Pet MD:

STEP 1: To begin, choose a shallow and quiet spot in the water at a pool, and make sure to always keep your dog on a leash while they are learning.

STEP 2: Get into the pool but, let your dog start at the edge

STEP 3: When your dog gets into the pool, and begins to paddle with their front legs, lift their hind legs to show them how to float.  Never force your dog into the water… keep the swim lesson as positive and stress-free as possible.


If your dog is already a confident swimmer, it’s time to take them to the beach or pool!  Always put your four-legged friend in a life vest, even if they are an Olympic swimmer.  When you are at the beach, stay alert for strong currents and rip tides that could take you both out to sea.  Also remember to bring fresh water for your dog to drink. here may be plenty of ocean water to go around, but drinking it could make your dog sick.

If you’re lucky enough to have a pool in the comfort of your own backyard, we have several safety tips for you and your dog. Make sure the pool area is fenced in to keep your dog out when it isn’t time to swim.  Another way to prevent your dog from a potential fatal accident is placing a sturdy cover over the pool that allows rainwater drain through while it’s not in use.  When it is time to go for a swim with your dog, give them a way to easily get in and out of the pool, such as a ramp or small steps.

Summer water fun with your pet can be pawesome, but always put safety first!

Written by Leah Hodges, HSNEGA Marketing Communications Intern

Information for this post was compiled from the following articles: