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How you can help homeless Dawson County pets by becoming a foster parent
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: Bianca, a pit bull mix, has been at the Dawson County Humane Society for three years. - photo by Jessica Taylor

If you’ve wanted to help homeless animals experience a loving home, now’s your chance.

The Dawson County Humane Society recently relaunched its foster program with the hopes that getting long time cats and dogs out of the shelter environment will help their chances of finding their forever families.

“We’re excited, and we’re excited for the animals to be able to have the opportunity to get out there,” said Shelter Director Jason Hutcherson. 

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Dawson County Humane Society Shelter Director Jason Hutcherson pets Bianca, a pit bull mix who has been at the shelter for three years. Bianca is one of the longtime residents Hutcherson hopes will find her forever home through the new foster program. - photo by Jessica Taylor

For many of the shelter’s longtime residents, the foster program opens an opportunity for animals to experience a home environment that gives them a break from the harsh realities of life in a shelter pin while also allowing the staff to learn new information about their animals to find their ideal homes.

“One of our biggest goals is to hopefully try and find foster homes for some of our long timers,” Hutcherson said. “One, it gets them out of the shelter and two, it gives everybody a chance to see how they’re going to do in a home setting because they may have been here for a long time.”

Hutcherson said it’s a pretty simple process to become a foster.

“Come in and let’s talk about what you’re looking to foster then, sort of like an adoption, you’ve got to make sure it’s going to be a good fit,” he said.

Once you’re set to become a foster, the shelter will conduct a home inspection, a requirement by the Georgia Department of Agriculture, then you’re ready to bring your foster animal home.

As a foster, you would be responsible for bringing foster animals to at least three adoption events each month, with adoptions being held every weekend at multiple locations, Hutcherson said.

At this time, Hutcherson said the shelter is looking for all types of foster families, from single people with no pets to families with children and other animals in the house.

“Any foster is welcome, but if we could definitely get some of the ones without any pets that would be amazing,” Hutcherson said. “A lot of the ones that have been here the longest are the toughest ones to place. They’re good with people but they don’t do dogs. They don’t do cats. Some of them don’t do small kids and stuff so when we’re doing our off site adoption events it’s almost always at PetSmart or Petco and everybody’s already got a dog or two or three… we’re trying to find that niche of people, single people or couples that don’t have other pets would be ideal for some of these guys.”

Fostering would help with space issues at the shelter, too, but Hutcherson said that is not a main concern at this time.

“Right now our primary (concern) is trying to learn what we can about what we can about the animals and trying to focus on the long timers,” Hutcherson said. “Once the program gets rolling and we have several fosters then we could look at it as a space saving type thing.”

“I’m hoping that it will dramatically increase the likelihood of them finding their forever homes,” Hutcherson continued. “If nothing else it gives them an opportunity to experience being in a home…more hands on than we can give.”

For more information about becoming a foster, call (706) 265-9160, visit or stop by the shelter at 633 Martin Road in Dawsonville.

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Dawson County Humane Society Shelter Director Jason Hutcherson pets Wheezer, a retriever mix who is waiting to be adopted. Wheezer is one of the dogs Hutcherson hopes will benefit from the shelter’s new foster program. - photo by Jessica Taylor