Who we are

We’re an all-volunteer group that cares A LOT about the most vulnerable animals in our community and the people who love them. We are dedicated to helping our shelter pets find permanent homes or rescue placements, to keeping pets and their families together, and to reducing pet overpopulation in the Athens area.

What we do

We work closely with Athens-Clarke County Animal Services and local rescue groups to help them help our shelter animals. Our projects include:

  • Maintaining this website and publicizing the shelter animals on social media;
  • Covering the extraordinary veterinary costs of the shelter animals;
  • Soliciting sponsorships for individual pets to attract rescue groups;
  • Ensuring the shelter animals receive the mental stimulation and exercise they need to stay healthy and happy while they await their homes;
  • Spaying & neutering community pets otherwise at high risk of adding to pet overpopulation in our area;
  • Helping animals stay in good, even if impoverished, homes; and
  • Providing sponsorship or treatment, as appropriate and as funds are available, for special needs shelter animals.

How we do it

Only with your help! Volunteers photograph the shelter pets and write their online stories, help with local transport needs, reach out to local businesses that might be able with some aspect of our programs, and volunteer at community events. To volunteer, sign up today or email [email protected]. More detailed descriptions of some of the volunteer opportunities can be found at /volunteer/.

In addition, we participate in Kroger Community Rewards, ResQWalk, Amazon Smile, and iGive. Signing up for each of these programs and selecting “Athenspets” as your designated charity helps the shelter animals without taking any additional time or any money on your part! Directions for signing up for each of these programs can be found at /reward-programs/.

Donations are critical to our programs. All donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. To donate by paypal, go to /make-a-donation/; you can designate your donation to be used for medical expenses, our spay/neuter program, or to be used as the Board members believe is best. To donate by check, mail to Athenspets, P.O. Box 1022, Athens, GA 30603. More information about how we spend donated funds can be found at /make-a-donation/.

How Far We’ve Come

The last few years have been BIG for Athenspets. While we’ve been an informal volunteer group since 2001, it wasn’t until January of 2015 that we incorporated and become a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. At that point, we started our spay/neuter and heartworm testing, prevention & treatment programs and expanded the existing medical program. Since then, Athenspets has paid or greatly subsidized the cost of spay/neuter surgeries for thousands of community pets identified as otherwise at risk of reproducing outside of a licensed breeding program and hundreds more shelter animals, greatly increasing their likelihood of positive outcomes and that of all of the shelter animals!

We have received grants from the Petco Foundation, the Petfinder Foundation, Maddie’s Fund, the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s license plate program, Bissell Pet Foundation, Lil BUB’s BIG Fund for the SPCA, and the Ian Somerhalder Foundation, but most of our funding comes from you–the animal lovers of Athens-Clarke County!

We’re always open to ideas, especially if they come with your dedication and time!

Rescue placements

While it is not the main focus of Athenspets, we are a Georgia licensed rescue (GDA license #33-33106975). We do not recruit fosters and only adopt out animals in limited circumstances.

In 2017, Athenspets had 30 dogs in our care. All were transferred in from Athens-Clarke County Animal Control. Of these dogs, 14 were adopted out, 14 were transferred to other rescue groups, and 2 remained in our care at the end of the year. None were euthanized or otherwise died in our care for a live release rate of 100% for dogs.

We had 25 cats in our care in 2017, also transferred in from Athens-Clarke County Animal Control. All of the cats were adopted out for a live release rate for cats of 100%.

In 2016, our live release rates for dogs and cats were also 100% (26/26 adopted or transferred for dogs; 51/51 adopted or transferred for cats).

All cats and dogs adopted out by Athenspets are spayed or neutered before adoption.