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Humane Society desperately needs garage sale donations

Photo by Curt Yeomans
“Daniel,” the Cocker Spaniel, nuzzles up to Clayton County Humane Society Staff Member Keith Hunt in the play area at the group’s shelter, in Jonesboro. Humane Society officials say they desperately need donations for their annual garage sale fundraiser.

Photo by Curt Yeomans “Daniel,” the Cocker Spaniel, nuzzles up to Clayton County Humane Society Staff Member Keith Hunt in the play area at the group’s shelter, in Jonesboro. Humane Society officials say they desperately need donations for their annual garage sale fundraiser.

All of the animals housed at the Clayton County Humane Society shelter in Jonesboro go into a tizzy every time a new person stops by.

The cats swarm around the newbie. One or two may decide to nudge the person’s pants, or rub up against their legs. The dogs, meanwhile, cannot stop barking. It is as if they are all excited to see someone new in the kennel area. Some of the smaller dogs run back and forth and try to jump as high as they can at the front of their kennel. It is like they are telling their visitor, “Hey! Look at me! Look at me!”

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Photo by Curt Yeomans “Nico” is one of several felines housed at the Clayton County Humane Society’s shelter, in Jonesboro. Society officials said donations are down severely this year for their annual garage sale fundraiser. Proceeds from the event help cover animal care expenses.

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Photo by Curt Yeomans “Heidi,” a German Shepherd, is one of several pets available for adoption at the Clayton County Humane Society shelter, in Jonesboro. The group is in dire need of donations for its annual garage sale fundraiser, which helps it pay animal care expenses.

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Photo by Curt Yeomans Cats swarm around Clayton County Humane Society Staff Member Keith Hunt at the group’s shelter, in Jonesboro, on Thursday.

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Photo by Curt Yeomans “Sydney,” a German Shepherd, runs around her kennel at the Clayton County Humane Society shelter, in Jonesboro.

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Photo by Curt Yeomans Clayton County Humane Society Staff Member Keith Hunt pets “Lady Gaga,” one of the cats available for adoption from the group’s shelter in Jonesboro.

These animals — all just waiting to be adopted by a loving owner — know how to put their best paws forward for newcomers.

“If it’s not ‘Please adopt me!’, it’s ‘Hey! Pay attention to me, I need a friend,’ ” said Michelle Bryant, the president and executive director of the Clayton County Humane Society. “We have a very good group of animals at our shelter. They are all very outgoing, and sociable, cats and dogs.”

Humane society officials say they are facing a major issue that could affect their ability to care for these animals, however. Their annual spring garage sale fund-raiser — which is usually one of their biggest fund-raisers of the year — is coming up in early May, but donations for items to be sold at the event are only trickling in.

“We’re five weeks away from the date for our garage sale, and the number of items being donated is way below where it normally is at this point,” said Humane Society event coordinator Gwen Lyle, on Thursday.

Bryant said the number of items donated for this year’s garage sale are down 50 percent, or “maybe even more,” from what it was this time last year. “We usually fill the little parking lot [at Jonesboro High School] with stuff available for purchase, when we have the garage sale,” she said. “We’ve only received enough items at this point to maybe fill two tables.”

The local Humane Society’s president said the group’s spring and fall garage sales are usually their biggest sources of fund-raising revenues. Since the group does not receive government funding, it relies on fund-raising to generate the money it needs to take care of the animals in the shelter.

On average, the shelter houses roughly 100 animals who are cared for by three staff members and several more volunteers. The animals, Bryant said, need to be fed and exercised daily; kept in comfortable temperatures during times of extreme heat or cold weather; given baths; given flea prevention and worm treatments; cared for when they are injured, and be spayed or neutered.

Bryant added it takes a large budget to cover those expenses, and adoption fees only cover the medical expenses. “We really count on these garage sales to raise enough money to get us through the year,” she said.

The local Humane Society president said the group is looking for donations of a variety of items, including small electronic devices; baby clothes; baby strollers; pictures; collectibles, and other “knick-knacks.” Bryant stressed, however, that the pet adoption group cannot accept donations of appliances, mattresses, baby cradles, sleeper sofas, or adult clothing.

Anyone who would like to donate items for the garage sale is asked to call Bryant, at (404) 422-4710, or Jim Carter, at (770) 477-8352. The garage sale is scheduled to take place on May 5, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Jonesboro High School, which is located at 7728 Mt. Zion Blvd., in Jonesboro. Bryant said a rain date has been set for May 12, if necessary.