The Upson County Animal Shelter achieved a perfect score last week in an unannounced inspection by the Georgia Department of Agriculture.
Inspector S. Truitt from the state showed up without notice at the shelter, 2371 Yatesville Highway, Monday, catching Animal Shelter Manager Smart Web off guard, but not unprepared.
"The inspector just showed up at random and we made a perfect score," said Web proudly. "The inspector determined the Animal Shelter is run efficiently with no major problems."
Inspector Truitt is responsible for inspecting animal shelters in 15 south Georgia counties. Generally, the inspections are conducted annually, unless problems are found. "This was just a routine inspection," Web said. "There was no complaint or any violation."
County work crews three weeks ago finished a renovation of the facility, paving the parking lot, painting the interior, replacing bathroom fixtures and building a counter in the front lobby.
"We will soon get new kennels for the dogs and a sign for the front," Web said. "These are all positive changes, but is not the reason we scored so well in the inspection."
Web has been manager of the local shelter since 2000 and said each year, the county facility has scored high marks when the Department of Agriculture comes knocking at the door.
"All animals appeared healthy and well cared for," inspector Truitt wrote in the inspection report. "The cat room has 18 holding pens. In each pen, food,
water and a litter box is provided. "The facility has 16 dog rooms with sliding doors to the outside.
"Records are current and up to date," the inspector wrote. "The animal control vehicle ... was on the premises and was clean and in good repair."
The inspector first looked at the grounds, making sure the license is displayed, the shelter is kept neat and orderly with proper lighting, temperature, ventilation.
Inspector Truitt looked at space requirements, interior surfaces, structural strength, shelter from the elements and drainage.
Also examined were record keeping, storage, pest control, sanitation and waste disposal. Animals were checked to make sure they had adequate food and water and were being treated humanely."
Web said Friday the facility had 25 dogs and just more than a dozen cats. He said an average of eight animals are adopted each month from the shelter.
He said the cost for adopting an animal is $20, but the new owner must pay to have the animal spayed or neutered, which can cost anywhere between $35 to $80.
"A lot of people don't know this," Web said. "but when you adopt an animal from the Animal Shelter, the adoption comes with two free months of animal health insurance. That way, if the animal gets sick, the insurance will help cover the medical bills. The customer can extend the coverage if they so choose for $6.95 per month."