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Help the Animal Shelter: Adopt Today

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The Gwinnett County Animal Welfare and Enforcement Center in Lawrenceville has saved the lives of thousands of friendly animals. It”s a program that”s helped furry refugees at the local level, but the vast success of these initiatives has garnered national attention too.

The shelter on Winder Highway was recently selected as one of only 50 in the country to compete in the 2014 ASPCA Rachael RayTM $100K Challenge. For the past four years the $100K Challenge has helped shelters energize their teams, rally communities, and blast through previous records for saving animals.

In June, July, and August, each shelter must beat its 2013 efforts to save the most dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens. Winners receive up to $600,000 in grants, with the grand prize of $100,000 to the top winner.

Locals can help the shelter win by participating in events throughout July and August. The most effective way to assist? Adopt an animal.

It”s your opportunity to give one of these homeless pets a loving home. Your reward will be the gratitude they show you and companionship they provide every day.

And you”ll be helping your hometown”s animal shelter get funding to keep saving the lives of stray animals. The number of animals “put down” or euthanized at the local shelter has dropped dramatically from 7,850 in 2009 to just 2,467 in 2013. Events like the Shot Clinic and Spay and Neuter Clinic have a positive effect on local animal populations, as does the Itty Bitty Kitties program, where volunteers care for very young kittens until they”re old enough to find their “forever homes.” It saved the lives of 600 local kittens last year.

The Barn Cat program has been another success story. By spaying and neutering cats who grew up in the wild, it puts the animals to work, providing natural pest control at farms and stables.

Other efforts included a pet food drive helping pets affected by tornadoes that hit Oklahoma last May; a Gwinnett CAN Challenge to help local food banks; and countless other initiatives aimed to assist local people and pets.

You can also help the animal shelter by participating in the Third Annual Adoption Explosion, which starts at 9 a.m. Saturday, July 26, with a motorcycle ride and continues at 11 a.m. with a family-friendly block party and car show at the animal shelter.

The animal shelter is located at 884 Winder Highway, Lawrenceville. For more information, call 770 339-3200 or visit www.gwinnettanimalcontrol.com.