Toby is joining the USDA’s Beagle Brigade

When in need of an Officer with special talents the USDA knew exactly where to look, a local animal shelter. Toby, a homeless Beagle has become a USDA Federal Officer and will soon be protecting our borders.

Toby was found on the side of the road guarding the body of his sister who had been hit by a car. A good samaritan picked him up. When his owner could not be found he was turned over to the Humane League of Lake Lanier, a local animal shelter. Placed in a foster home, Toby is a typical happy Beagle who really likes his dinner. “He’s very food motivated” says foster mom Kelly Emery, “and that is one of the reasons the USDA was so interested in him.”

Toby was put through a variety of tests including behavior analysis, health examinations and a walk through at Atlanta’s airport. Showing the same dedication he had for his sister, Toby excelled at every test. Once he completes training, Toby will be assigned a human partner. Together they will conduct inspections at international airports sniffing for prohibited agricultural products and pests. The Government Accountability Office calls these agriculture canine teams “a key tool for targeting passengers and cargo for inspection”. Paid in kibble and belly rubs, Toby is officially a United States Federal Officer with all the protections the title entails.

“I think the lesson we all can learn from Toby”, says Humane League of Lake Lanier president Beth Mulrooney, “is that there are a lot of good pets at our local animal shelters. Whatever you are looking for in a pet, you can find it at a shelter”.

Our Hero

Some things can really just make your day. As part of a 2nd grade assignment, Alyssa Maicon had to write about one of her heroes. Her mother sent us her report:

(scroll all the way down to see her drawing of Milo and Otis)

Thank you Alyssa, we think Beth is pretty special too.

No Adoptions this Weedend


Adoptions, Saturday, April 1, from Noon until 4:00pm are scheduled for the PETsMART at John’s Creek.

3630 Peachtree Pkwy
Suwanee, GA 30024

Click here to view a Map of the location

Please contact us if there is a specific pet you are interested in. Not all pets go to the sidewalk adoptions every weekend.

GET PRE-APPROVED! We highly recommend you get pre-approved for adoption before coming to the event. This will save you time and ease the adoption process. Go to our CONTACTS and request an application.

No Adoptions this weekend

No Adoptions

No Adoptions this weekend


Time to go to the races!!! The Humane League will be staffing a booth at the Formula Drift races on Friday May 6, and Saturday May 7. This is a great opportunity to spread the word of responsible pet ownership to a demographic very much outside our norm. It’s due to the generosity of, Formula D, and one of the drivers, Dennis Mertzanis

We need volunteers to help staff the booth. Please contact Bill at if you would like to come out and work the booth for a few hours and then enjoy some of the racing.

No Adoptions this weekend

Merry Christams

No Adoptions on July 3rd

Thank you to Girl Scout Troop #10804

With a little help from “Camo” the foster dog, the Girl Scouts of Troop #10804 learned about dog safety and responsible pet ownership. And presented a gift basket and a check to help treat Camo’s heartworms

The Girl Scouts of Troop #10804 present Camo with a check for his heartworm treatment.

Camo helps Beth teach the girls about dog safety and care.

Camo thinks he’d like to visit with the Girl Scouts everyday!

7 Silly Reasons not to Spay or Neuter your Pet

We’ve all heard them. The crazy reasons why people will not act responsibly and have their pet spayed or neutered. The best way to educate these folks is to have them tour their local shelter. Since you probably are not going to be able to get them to do that, following is an answer to the 7 most popular silly reasons not to have your pet sterilized.

1. It’s better to let a female have one litter before spaying

FALSE: The best time to spay a female is before her first heat. This reduces her risk to a host of future problems including uterine infections and breast cancer. Plus it has the added benefit of not attracting males to your property which can be a hazard for children.

2. I want my children to experience the miracle of birth

Visit your local animal shelter and you will soon learn that your education technique results in thousands of animals euthanized each year. Instead, teach your children about humane treatment and responsible pet ownership.

3. You don’t need to sterilize the males, only the females

FALSE: It takes two to tango. Granted, for animal welfare specialist, when limited funds are available it is best spent on females. But for the average pet owner neutering has advantages. A neutered male is healthier, less likely to roam and less aggressive.

4. My pet is a purebred

So what? Over 25% of animals going into shelters are purebreds. There are just too many pets and over half the pets entering shelters are euthanized. Breeding is best left to the professionals who protect and promote the breed. Breeding for profit is immoral and if unlicensed, it’s illegal.

5. Spayed / Neutered pets are fat and lazy

FALSE: Most weight gain in pets is caused by too much food and not enough exercise. If your pet is too heavy, talk to your Vet about a balanced diet and exercise program. (It’s probably best not to mention the owner’s weight gain at this point)

6. I can find good homes for all my puppies/kittens

FALSE: You may be able to get them out of your house, but the odds are that some of them or their offspring will end up being euthanized in a shelter. Even rescues like the Humane League, with experience in screening and placing animals, know that we can’t guarantee what happens after the pet leaves our care. At least when they leave us, we give them a better than average chance by ensuring they are vaccinated, micro-chipped and sterilized.

7. Spaying and neutering is expensive

FALSE: For most pets, sterilization can be done for under $100. For families in distress, programs exist to help bring the costs even lower. For information on low cost spay / neuters in the area, please Click here to contact us.

2009, Our Year in Review

2009 saw Fannie (Mattie) adopted by the Dickson Family, bringing their total family members adopted from the Humane League to three, Fannie, Jackson and Ernie

2009 was a year we will not soon forget, but many would like to. It was a tough year for all charities, and the Humane League was no different. The number of pets coming in to the animal shelters was the highest any of us can remember, while adoptions were at their lowest. Funding for everyone was tight. We ran into some unusually high Vet bills with almost every Collie infected with heartworms and several cases of what we believe to be the new Canine Influenza virus. (We’ve now started vaccinating for this new bug).

But the year was not all bad. The Humane League worked in support of 16 local animal control shelters. Some wonderful dogs were adopted; Ralphie, Ferdinand, Quincy and Pluto (twice) just to name a few. Our volunteer hours were up. We picked up some wonderful new foster homes and volunteers. And we’ve made a lot of new friends.

Locally, 2009 saw permanently chaining of dogs outlawed in Forsyth County, joining Gwinnett, Cherokee, Fulton and the City of Gainesville as well as many other municipalities. Hall County opened a new animal shelter, and Forsyth County has started the process to build their new shelter in 2010. All good news for pets.

Thank you to everyone who supported the Humane League in 2009, and let’s hope and pray that our Country, our neighbors, ourselves and the animals have a better 2010.

3rd Annual Home(s) for the Holidays

The Humane League of Lake Lanier is encouraging families to open up their hearts to a homeless pet this holiday season. Adopt a pet between Dec 13th and Dec 23rd and a volunteer will deliver the new family member to your home on Christmas day.

The economy has been especially hard on shelters this year and the Humane League has a dog for every type of home. “The holidays are a great time of year to add to the family”, says Humane League President Beth Mulrooney. “The kids are home from school, mom and dad take vacation. It’s a perfect time to introduce a new pet.” Mulrooney suggest you put dog toys, leashes, bowls…etc, under the tree for the kids to open. “That way they will be excited and ready when the new pet arrives”.

The Humane League does not support pets as a surprise gift outside of a family, and all the household’s adults should be involved in the adoption. The delivery area is limited.

Request and application and come to the Christmas Adoption event:

Saturday Dec 19th PETsMART, Alpharetta
10:00am to 3:00pm Across from North Point Mall

Canine Influenza

By Liz Wallace, Covenant College

On June 23, 2009 the first ever vaccine for canine influenza was introduced. Canine Influenza Vaccine, H3N8 Killed Virus, helps to prevent the virus from manifesting and it helps prevent the severity of the symptoms.

Canine influenza is a fairly new virus among dogs that was first discovered in 2004. It is a highly contagious respiratory virus that is most commonly found in shelters or boarding facilities. Anywhere there are large groups of dogs living together.

Because the virus is caused by a unique pathogen, dogs do not have any immunity to it. 100% of dogs exposed will contract the virus. Out of 100 exposed, only 80 will show signs of the virus but all will be contagious.

Symptoms of canine influenza include:
• Coughing and sneezing
• Ocular and nasal discharge (can be thick and heavy)
• Depression
• Dyspnea (shortness of breath)
• Lung Lesions

It may appear to be a really bad case of kennel cough (Bordetella) but the normal vaccine is not effective against this new bug.

In the past this virus has been treated with a broad-spectrum bactericidal antimicrobial which has only been mildly successful, mainly with weak cases. The mortality rate for the virus is as high as 1 in 20. The virus was first detected at the race tracks, so most fatalities to date have been Greyhounds that have developed pneumonia.

While most family dogs will never come in contact with this virus at home, it is possible for them to pick it up elsewhere. The virus has been documented in Georgia and your pet can be exposed at doggie daycare, boarding facilities, Vet’s offices, the dog park, or anywhere else other dogs roam. Boarding facilities and groomers will soon start requiring vaccination against the H3N8 if they have not already. Talk to your Vet about whether or not your dog should be vaccinated. The vaccine is safe and reaction free. It’s given by two separate injections, two to 4 weeks apart.

For more information on K9 Influenza visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention

The Perfect Gift

Every Christmas we all give and receive gifts that are forgotten by New Years. If it’s the thought that counts, give a gift that lets them know you are thinking of them in the best way. Give the gift of life.

For a minimum $25 donation (you can donate more), the Humane League will send a card and a certificate announcing your gift in that special person’s or pet’s name. The certificate will be custom made and suitable for framing. It will include a picture of one the Humane League’s adoptable pets. Or, send us a picture and we can personalize it.

Please contact us with your name and the recipients’ name and address and we will provide you with all the details.

No Adoption Event This Weekend

Heartworms – A silent killer

Heart worms are about six inches long. They live mostly in the heart and the large blood vessel that brings oxygen-rich blood from the lungs to the heart. Adult male and female worms living in the heart produce thousands of microscopic baby worms which circulate throughout the body. These baby heartworms do not grow to adulthood in the dog where they were born. (If they did, the dog would quickly die and that would be bad for both the dog and the heartworms.) Before baby heartworms can develop further, they must live in a mosquito.

A mosquito comes along and bites the infected dog, sucking up baby heartworms. This probably isn’t too good for the mosquito, but this is what the worms have been waiting for. During the next month, the heartworm babies develop into heartworm teenagers, a stage partway between baby and adult.

Now, the mosquito bites another dog, infecting the new dog with teenage heartworms that are ready to become adults. After six or seven more months the life cycle is complete: new adult male and female heartworms are producing thousands of baby heartworms.

Symptoms of heartworm infestation include cough, shortness of breath, fainting after exercise, tiring easily, weight loss and loss of appetite, and listlessness and nervousness. Heartworms can take years off of the life on an otherwise healthy pet. Once infected, the treatment is expensive and sometimes fatal.

All this can be prevented with a simple, inexpensive once a month pill. Talk to your family Vet about heartworms.

For more information visit the American Heartworm Society

Costume Contest Entries

Chain Gang Bubbs

Loki the Lobster

Brodie the Rooster

Loki and Brodie daydreaming of a normal mom

Ernie the Bumble Bee