Viewing the dogs at Athens-Clarke County Animal Services

Athens-Clarke County Animal Services now advertises the shelter animals! To find a new friend, go to their online listing of dogs or drop by the shelter (125 Buddy Christian Way in Athens). Since dogs in foster homes or with Project Homebound are not housed on-site, please call the shelter ahead of time if you’d like to meet a specific animal.

Please act quickly!

The Athens-Clarke County Animal Services shelter is a municipal, open-admission shelter. This means that it takes in owner surrendered animals from Athens-Clarke County residents and stray animals found by county residents or found in Athens-Clarke County limits whether or not there is available space (owners looking to surrender animals may be asked to schedule an appointment to do so but if you cannot hold onto the animal until the scheduled time, let staff know–they will work with you).

At Athenspets we are firm believers in having open-admission shelters; animals without another safe place to be need a place they can go instead of being left to wander and struggle to survive on their own or being hastily given to someone who will not have their best interests in mind. However, this means that critically injured animals, terminally ill and suffering animals, and aggressive animals are admitted and generally euthanized. In addition, because animals are admitted even when there is no available space at the shelter, at times they euthanize healthy, nonaggressive animals, including those that would make great pets but that are struggling in the high-stress shelter environment.

As a result, adopters and rescues need to act quickly, to help ensure space is available for the animals that need it.

Provided veterinary care

All dogs receive DHLPP and bordetella vaccination, basic deworming, microchipping, and heartworm testing on impound. Dogs that test positive for heartworms are only available for rescue, foster, or foster-to-adopt arrangement (apply here); they may be adopted after they are treated for heartworms (at county expense). Most dogs are also vaccinated against rabies and all are spayed or neutered prior to adoption.

Adoption & rescue process generally

Applications for an animal are taken by staff as soon as an animal is impounded. Each approved applicant, regardless of whether an individual or a licensed rescue group, is provided priority in adopting or rescuing the animal on a first-come first-served basis.

Once an animal becomes available (either because the stray hold period has expired or s/he was surrendered to the shelter by an owner), applicants may adopt or rescue the animal if he or she is still at the shelter at the adoption time arranged between you and shelter staff. If you were not given an adoption time, or before you come to the shelter for your adoption time, call the shelter at 706-613-3540 to arrange a time or find out if the dog is still available, as applicable.

Adopters or rescues that are not first in order of priority for an animal should call the shelter at the start of their adoption windows to determine whether the animal is still available for adoption or rescue. If so the adoption or rescue must be completed within the assigned time period.

More information about adopting a dog can be found on the county’s website.

Because about half of our adoption applications fall through, it is worth putting an application on the dog of your choice, even if you’re not first in line!

Adoption fees

Normal adoption fees for dogs are:

$150: Dogs under 25lbs and puppies 6 months old or younger.

$100: Adult dogs over 25lbs and over 6 months old that have been at the shelter 30 days or less.

$50: Any adult dog in the shelter over 30 days.

$150: Project Homebound Program Dogs

At times there are specials; email [email protected] with any questions about adoption fees.


Applying to adopt a dog

To apply to adopt a shelter dog, go to the county’s listing of impounded dogs. Click on the picture of the dog in which you are interested and complete the application the link reading “Interested in this animal? Click here” leads to. (You will need to scroll up or over to see it if the page looks blank.) If you do not hear back from staff within 48 hours, call 706-613-3540 or email [email protected] to check in.

Not sure who you want to adopt?

Drop-in hours at the shelter are every day from 11-4 except Sundays (12-3) and holidays (closed). Because many of the dogs are in foster homes, if there is a particular dog in which you might be interested, you should contact staff ahead of time at 706-613-3540 or [email protected].

Adopt a dog from the Project Homebound Training Program

Looking for a smart, socialized, well-trained dog? The Project Homebound Dog Training Program is a partnership between Athens-Clarke County Animal Services, Athens-Clarke County Department of Corrections, and Athenspets. These dogs are trained and socialized by pairs of Returning Citizens under the supervision of Tricia Hall, of Bone-A-Fide Dog Training.

Learn more about Project Homebound Dogs here:

Bring your dog to the shelter to pick a new best friend

We recommend bringing any household members the dog MUST get along with to the shelter for a meet-and-greet prior to adoption. This includes household dogs (they must be up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations and wearing a current rabies tag), young children, and elderly household members. Staff can help you make a great match!

Rescuing a dog

Athens-Clarke County Animal services makes it easy to rescue dogs! Our rescue partners ensure that there is always space at the shelter for newly impounded dogs that need a safe place to stay until their owners reclaim them or they are adopted or rescued.

In Georgia, only rescues licensed by the Georgia Department of Agriculture can take transfer of animals from a shelter if the transfer occurs in the state of Georgia. If you are an out-of-state rescue interested in helping with out our animals, please email [email protected] for information about how we can help you become a rescue partner.

Georgia licensed rescues interested in helping: please send a copy of your GDA license to [email protected].

There are no pull fees and no restrictions on which animals a rescue may pull, but all rescues and adoptions are on a first-come-first-served basis without preference for either, except where an animal is designated as “rescue only”.

If you are interested in rescuing a “rescue only” dog but need help with expenses, email [email protected] to see if sponsorship could be made available. Other animals may have private pledges of sponsorship as well; we can let you know these amounts (we are still coming up with a good way to advertise the amounts now that the shelter is publicizing the animals and will update this section when we can).

More information about rescuing an animal from Athens-Clarke County Animal Services can be found here.