Animal Veterans


The Dickin Medal is the animal version of the Victoria Medal and is awarded to animals who show bravery in war.

This Friday, November 11, our nation celebrates Veterans Day. One of the most reverent holidays of the year, Veterans Day is a time when we gather together to express gratitude for our military veterans and the time they have served for us.

Veterans Day always takes place on November 11, no matter what day of the week it falls upon. Why? Because the 11th day of November marks the anniversary of the end of the “war to end all wars.” In the year 1918, it was the day that the final armistice went into effect between the Allied Powers and the German forces.

Many of us have members of our family who have served in our armed forces in one way or another, but what we might not think about is the non-human veterans around us. All throughout history, animals have been used in times of warfare for numerous purposes. From serving as stress-relieving companions to sniffing out wounded soldiers, our animal friends bring their own unique capabilities to the battlefield.

Sergeant Stubby showing off his various medals and awards.

The first canine ever to hold a rank in the U.S. military was a  bull terrier by the name of “Stubby.” Once a stray found wandering on the campus of Yale University, Stubby was adopted by Private John Robert Conroy and given his name because of his short tail. He was smuggled aboard the SS Minnesota and then headed to the trenches of World War I.

Stubby carried out tasks that the soldiers couldn’t do with skill and ease. With his superior smell and heightened hearing, Stubby could alert the troops to incoming gas or shells far earlier than they could detect them themselves. Stubby was honored with the title of “Sergeant,” outranking his owner. When Stubby returned home from war, he was hailed as a hero.

Like Stubby, many of the animals that served in wartime were once strays. We’re not saying that an animal that you adopt from the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia is going to be a war hero, but we just know that they’ll commandeer your heart with ease!

So, on this Veterans Day, keep all of our war heroes in mind: both furry and not!

Want to know more about Stubby?

Adoptable Animals at HSNEGA

Save-A-Vet Homepage

This post was compiled with information from the following sites:

Dogs of War – Stubby

History of Veterans Day

Written by Kelly Kucera, HSNEGA Marketing Communications Intern

Happy National Cat Day!


With Halloween just around the corner, cats – particularly black ones – are in the spotlight. October 29 is National Cat Day, which means it’s our feline friends’ time to shine! We have many adoptable kitties to choose from at the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia, and each of them is unique in their own way, whether it be personality or fur color!

Precious is hoping for her Halloween treat to be a furever home!

Cats have been popular pets in the United States for a long time, although they were first domesticated around 9,500 years ago during the Neolithic Period. Today, cats are the most popular household animals in the US, boasting a ratio of 8 million more cats than dogs.

There’s no doubt that cats have captured many people’s hearts all over the country and the world. If you need proof, all you need to do is do a quick Google search of “cats.” From that single word alone, millions of hits pop up: blog posts, memes, and even cat care tips!

So, what can you do in order to celebrate National Cat Day? We have a few suggestions!

  • Spay/neuter your cat
  • Microchip your cat (Only $20 at HSNEGA)
  • Donate supplies or volunteer time to your local animal shelter
  • Adopt a cat from your local animal shelter (View our adoptable pets.)
  • Make or buy your kitty a special treat! (Click here for some easy recipes.)
  • Spend some time playing with or grooming your cat
  • Netflix and cuddles with your kitty! (Click here for some cat-based Netflix movies.)

Want some cute cat stories to read yourself or share with your family?

Tama and Nitama – Stationmaster Cats

Billy the Cat Reunites with Family and Brother After Three Years

Nala the Kitty Messenger


Information for this post compiled from the following sites:

National Cat Day Official Site

Insurance Information Institute Pet Statistics

30 Funny Cat Memes

Written by Kelly Kucera, HSNEGA Marketing Communications Intern



Oliver is just one of the many Pit Bull mixes deserving of a loving home!

While we might not have any expertise with detective work or access to testing facilities, the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia team considers ourselves more than qualified when it comes to busting the myths about one of our favorite types of dogs: Pit bulls! Being that October 22 is “National Pit Bull Awareness Day,” we figured it’s the perfect time to debunk any harmful rumors surrounding our pibble friends.

Did you know that “Pit bull” is not actually a breed name? Instead, the term is used to represent a larger group of terriers known as the “bully breeds.” Members of this category include the American Pit bull Terrier, the Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier, and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. But don’t let their rough-n-tough nickname fool you; these pups are every bit as loving and friendly as any other breed of dog! In fact, they test as some of the most tolerant dogs in temperament tests by the American Humane Association (ASPCA).


To better understand the nature of Pit Bulls, it’s important to recognize their origins. Created in 19th-century England, the bully breeds were often used as entertainment pieces in public bull-and-bear baiting shows. Due to their tenacious temperaments and strong builds, they were a preferred choice for the ring; however, after such spectacle sports were deemed too inhumane and declared illegal, dog fighting took their place.

Because they were so widely-used for violence in these fights, Pit Bulls began to be known for the trait of aggression. Pit Bulls needed to be hardy and combative for dog-fighting but, despite how they acted out in the ring, they were also inbred with a genetic unwillingness to bite humans as the handlers in these fights did not want to be bitten. In actuality, Pits can make wonderful and loyal companion dogs due to their gentleness and family-oriented nature towards humans.

Along with a winning personality comes an intelligence to match! Pit bulls are incredibly bright dogs, so teaching them tricks is as simple as a little bit of practice. Overall, pibbles are people-pleasers and really enjoy attention as well as pretending that they’re lap dogs, which can be quite a lapful in some cases!

If you’re the proud owner of one of these magnificent dogs, it’s probably easier than not for you to see the perks of your pooch, although, as untrue as they might be, it’s a good idea to know the stigmas surrounding bully breeds and that you work actively to prove these stigmas wrong. Pit bulls have an abundance of energy which can be highly suitable for families with children or active lifestyles, but they can also become unruly if this energy is pent up. Giving your pit bull a sturdy toy to chew on and supplying him/her with daily walks will keep your pit on their best behavior!


If anyone knows the bully group best it’s Johanna Falber, a local advocate against BSL (breed specific legislation) and founder of a group called “Stubby’s Heroes.” Stubby’s Heroes, operating out of Atlanta, was founded by Johanna in order to create an organized and professional union of like-minded people to attend municipal meetings regarding animal safety. BSL, or “breed specific legislation,” is often an ordeal when it comes to those dogs that fall under the umbrella of the “pit bull” name.

“I was attending the meetings on my own, and witnessed good, caring people become emotional when speaking before councilmen and commissioners about their beloved pets,” Falber says., “I knew I could use my business skills to organize pit bull owners into a cohesive unit. We did that, I think, and more.”

Since startup, Stubby’s Heroes has seen great success and has expanded past simply attending city council and commissioner meetings. Now, their efforts also include assisting with supporting local spay/neuter initiatives, dog food distribution, adoption efforts, and outreach in nearby communities.

“An exercised dog is a well-behaved dog,” Johanna says, when asked about good advice for either current pit owners or hopeful potentials. “I also highly recommend you have your dog tested to become a canine good citizen because it looks good if you try to live somewhere that would normally hassle you about your dog, such as an apartment home.” She also advises owners to socialize their pibbles early on if possible and to do their homework about the breed!

Johanna has her own pit bull, Honey (amongst others), who she adopted from an animal shelter. Honey – or ‘Lola,’ in the shelter – was a victim of animal cruelty, despite being only a few months old. When Johanna saw a picture of Honey online, she knew she had to go visit the shelter that housed her. Of course, she immediately fell in love when the little pup ran directly up to her and put her tiny head upon her lap. Johanna adopted Honey that day, and the rest was history! Now, Honey lives with several other doggie siblings and, despite being the sweetest of the pack, she’s also the ‘ringleader.’

“Honey kisses the other dogs hello every morning,” Johanna says, laughing.

Together, Johanna and her crew work together to redeem the pit bull name and honor the bully mix that the organization was named after… Sgt. Stubby, a WWI veteran and hero that started out as a stray dog.

So, on this Saturday, be sure to keep pit bull terriers in your mind and kindness in your heart. Who knows? Maybe soon enough you’ll be welcoming one into your home!


Information for this post was compiled from the following sites:

Dog Time

National Pitbull Awareness Day

Stubby’s Heroes

AKC Canine Good Citizen Program

Written by Kelly Kucera, HSNEGA Marketing Communications Intern



National “Adopt-A-Dog” Month

Fall brings about a lot of favorite things. Among these, the resurgence of pumpkin spice flavored everything, vivid leaves, layered clothes, Halloween, and even Thanksgiving! But at the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia, we might be a little biased about what our favorite celebration of the season is, and that’s the entire month of October! “Why October’,” you ask? That’s because we get to celebrate National Adopt-A-Dog Month all month long!

In the year of 1981, the first Adopt-A-Dog Month was born. Sprung from a desire to save lives and to enrich the lives of others, American Humane declared the month a national holiday and it’s still going strong 35 years later! Approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, approximately 3.9 million are dogs. It is our goal at HSNEGA, and the goal of National Adopt-A-Dog Month, to lower that number as quickly as possible by connecting our furry friends with loving, life-long homes.bachelorsTo celebrate National Adopt-A-Dog Month, HSNEGA has partnered up with several names you may have heard of, one being right here in our community!

Tim and Tina Roberts, owners of the local restaurant, 2 Dog Café and fellow dog fanatics themselves, have graciously pledged their support to HSNEGA to raise awareness for the cause. If you adopt a dog anytime during the month of October, you’ll be entered into a raffle to win a $25 gift card to one of Gainesville’s most unique and delicious eateries: 2 Dog! 2 Dog boasts a broad menu to suit all tastes. They have paninis, burgers, salads, quesadillas, and a seasonal variety of sides that change daily. Not only is everything homemade, but they also offer gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options for the tender palate.

Sounds tasty, right? Well, you don’t have to be the only one who gets to enjoy yummy food during Adopt-A-Dog Month! In addition to being entered into the 2 Dog raffle, you’ll also receive a swag bag of your very own filled to the brim with amazing goodies donated by Purina and Petfinder if you adopt a pup. You and your new canine companion are bound to be thrilled by the dog snacks, bandana, and coupons for Beachin’ Biscuits that you’ll find inside!

beachin-biscuitsBeachin’ Biscuits are exactly what they sound like: All-natural cookies for dogs baked with care by dog-mommies and daddies for dog mommies and daddies! Adam and Brittany Beacham have been generous enough to include a coupon in our HSNEGA swag bags for 20% off of any goodies on their site! They didn’t stop there, though; they even have two special and spooky cookies that they designed just for us! 100% of the proceeds received from the sales of their “Franky” and “Scully” cookies will go directly to us here at HSNEGA! Check out the “Cookies for a Cause” tab on their company Website here for details.

Don’t have time to care for an adopted animal of your own or don’t know how to celebrate? There’s no need to worry; you can still participate in National Adopt-A-Dog Month in several ways! The Humane Society of Northeast Georgia is always in need of volunteers who wish to dedicate their time and/or needed items such as newspapers, old towels, leashes, and toys.

Being a responsible pet owner is also a good way to promote Adopt-A-Dog month, too! If you haven’t already done so, it’s a good idea to get your pooch ID’d so that they can be safely returned to you in the case of becoming lost. IDing your dogs ensures that they’ll find their way back home instead of winding up in an animal shelter. And, as always, spaying and/or neutering your dogs plays an important part in keeping pets out of shelters.

Information for this post was compiled from the following sites:

ASPCA Pet Statistics

American Humane Adopt a Dog Month

Written by Kelly Kucera, HSNEGA Marketing Communications Intern


Things to Consider Before Adopting

Making the decision to give an animal a furr-ever home can be one of the most exciting choices in your life. There’s just so much to look forward to with your new companion! From toy shopping and long strolls in the park to simply relaxing at home with some Netflix, there’s no doubt there’ll be endless fun to have with your new BFF! However, in all of the elation that comes with adopting an animal, we can sometimes forget that it’s good to be thoughtful about picking out a pet!

Perhaps one of the most important things to consider when adopting a new member of your family is your lifestyle. Whether you’re an avid runner or more of a lounge-about homebody, there’s a furry friend for you! Just like people, animals have varying personalities and energy levels all of their own. Picking a pet with an activity level similar to your own is a good way to ensure that you and your new friend’s relationship is beneficial and rewarding to you both!


Another thing to be aware of is the lifespan of your potential pet! Dogs are known to have a life expectancy anywhere from 10-15 years, while cats can live to be 20+years. Dogs and cats can become very attached to their owners, so you should be certain your living situations won’t change unexpectedly or other outside factors won’t cut your time with your pet short.

If you already have an animal at home, it’s important to ensure that both your old buddy and your new buddy get along – preferably before you even bring your new pet home! Most adoption centers will allow you to bring your current pet in for a “meet & greet”  with your potential pet before going through the full adoption process so that you can be sure that there’ll be no complications once they become fully-fledged family members.
Children also are an essential part of the adoption process.. While plenty of animals get along with – or even enjoy being around – children, this is not the case for all of them. Some animals are regular child-rearers, while others are content to be the only babies in your life! “With a dog or a child, you want to bring them to the center for a meet & greet,” HSNEGA Adoption Center Coordinator, Mindy Kanieski told me, “You don’t need to bring cats to centers for meet-n-greets, but always bring in kids. Sometimes kids are scared of pets, even if it’s a puppy.”

rescue-pic(photo special to

Adoption fees are a natural feature of the adoption process. The fees from adopted animals not only help cover their vetting costs, but also ensure the owner is a committed individual. At the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia, we have a special program called “Adoption Angels.” By becoming an  Adoption Angel, HSNEGA supporters can make donations towards a resident animal’s adoption fee. When donating, they can either specify which animal they’d like to donate for, or they can pick to donate to the animal that needs it the most (e.g. the animals whom have been with us the longest). The Adoption Angels program has proven to be a highly successful and has helped many of our friends find their permanent homes; some of their adoption fees have even been fully waived through the generous contributions of our donors.

life savers.png

Last, but not least, there’s the important task of setting up your house itself for its new inhabitant. Mindy recommends that any potential pet adopter ensure that they’ve scoped the areas inside and outside of their house for poisonous plants or other such health hazards. She also suggested that baby gates are useful investments with puppies or animals yet to be house-trained. Dogs and cats respond differently to new environments. “With cats, I’d suggest starting them out with one room and then gradually opening up the rest of the house to them” Mindy said.

It’s also a good idea to do your research on local veterinarians before bringing your dog or cat home! HSNEGA does provide low-cost vaccinations and spaying/neutering, but we do not offer examinations. Look into nearby veterinarians so that you don’t find yourself scrambling once your animal is already ill.

Do you have all of your bases covered? Think you’re ready for a new and fulfilling relationship with a new friend by your side? Great! The next step would be to check out the list of adoptable animals at the organization you’re interested in. Our page of adoptables can be found at this page. Adoption hours for the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia are Tuesday-Saturday 10 am-5 pm and Sunday 12-5 pm. We hope to see you soon!

Information for this post was compiled from the following site(s):

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals – Adoption Tips

American Association of Poison Control Centers

More information on preparing to adopt an animal can be found on our website.

Learn more about our adoption fees here.

Want to become an Adoption Angel? Follow this link!

Written by Kelly Kucera, HSNEGA Marketing Communications Intern

The Benefits of Teaching Dogs Tricks

Sit, stay, lay down, fetch, shake… What do all of these things have in common? They’re all tricks! If you’re a pet owner chances are that you have taught your furry friend a neat trick or two.
Dogs are often willing students with the right motivation. They enjoy the stimulation of human interaction and most certainly wouldn’t turn down a tasty treat as a reward for a trick well done! While we often teach our dogs to do silly or helpful things for our own amusement, the process of learning tricks actually has proven to provide many health benefits to our pawesome pals as well!


Tricks offer a variety of positive perks for dogs. By learning tricks, dogs have shown improvements in their daily lives with things such as anxiety reduction and increased confidence, but the bonuses don’t have to stop there! If what you’re trying to teach your dog is active enough, learning tricks can also provide a healthy workout for your pooch. And who doesn’t love a good workout? Both younger dogs and older dogs benefit from exercise, but training a puppy or juvenile dog to learn tricks can improve concentration as well as provide a release for pent-up energy.

Do you have a friend who’s afraid of dogs? Maybe you can even ease their fears by getting your pup to perform a trick or two!

Our volunteers at the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia work hard. They take our dogs out for well-deserved play time in our outdoor runs and sacrifice time that they could be spending on themselves to improve an animal’s day. And, you guessed it, some of our dogs even know tricks because of the patience and love of our HSNEGA helpers!


If you’d like to learn how to become part of our HSNEGA WOOFgang or HSNEGA AdvoCATs, then check out the volunteer page on our Website! Our programs for volunteers include many different categories such as teen volunteering, group volunteering, general volunteering, and even Corporate Companions! We could always use a few more friendly faces in our family of animal lovers, so fill out a volunteer form and stop in!

Information for this post was compiled from the following sites:

Dogster – Dog Trick Training Benefits

Pet First – Five Health Benefits of Teaching Your Dog New Tricks

Written by Kelly Kucera, HSNEGA Marketing Communications Intern

Mew-sic for Cats and Dogs


Whether it be rock, rap, alternative, country, pop, or something else, we all have our favorite type of music. As humans, we enjoy a wide variety of music genres and different bands. But what about our pets? While we might think that Fido or Fluffy’s reluctance to bolt out of the room once we turn our radio on means that they also share our musical preferences, it’s actually probably just a sign that they’ve developed a tolerance for our weird human screeching.

In fact, studies show that our feline and canine companions do actually have a taste all of their own for auditory stimulation. These studies are the basis for both “Music for Cats” and “Through a Dog’s Ear.”


Music for Cats, created by David Teie, was born from “efforts to bring real, scientifically credible music to as many members of the animal kingdom as possible.” While humans form an understanding of rhythm from their mother’s pulse while in the womb, cats and dogs develop their own from their surroundings after birth. Their experiences are defined by sounds that they would hear out in nature like birds chirping or their mother’s meows or barks. The arrangements of music that Music for Cats offers caters to those noises. But it’s not just one person that’s nailed the niche on music for our pets.


Like Music for Cats, many other groups have hopped on the bandwagon to deliver tasteful tunes to all animals alike! Through a Dog’s Ear, and its counterpart Through a Cat’s Ear, are two more examples of the auditory outreach to our furry friends. The music is produced by several composers including concert pianist Lisa Spector, sound researcher Joshua Leeds, and the Apollo Chamber Ensemble. While it might sound like simple classical music to us, the music has proven time and time again to be effective and produces a multitude of health benefits to its animal audience.

But what’s the point? Are the benefits to my pets great enough to sit around playing easy listening all day? In short, the answer is ‘yes’!

According to Through a Dog’s Ear’s Website, the effectiveness of their music stands at a staggering 80% success rate. The usefulness doesn’t stop at just in-home use, either; many vets and trainers also utilize the music of both Through a Dog’s/Cat’s Ear and Music for Cats to reduce the stress of pets that suffer from anxiety, fear, and over-excitement issues.

Both of these wonderful aforementioned organizations also offer their product free of charge to shelters to give the dogs and cats that reside there an enrichment feature that makes their stays before finding their forever homes all the better!

At the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia, enrichment is a very important concern of ours. In fact, we have just recently updated our cat room with cat portals to allow our felines to enjoy the comfort of being able to have separate bed and bathroom areas. As most cats don’t like using the bathroom  where they nap.


So the next time that you turn that dial to your favorite radio station or flip on your iPod, maybe instead consider switching to a song selection that both you and your feline or canine companion can both enjoy!


Information for this post was compiled from the following sites:

Music for Cats Website

Music for Cats informational video

Through A Dog’s Ear Website

Adoptable animals at HSNEGA

Written by Kelly Kucera, HSNEGA Marketing Communications Intern