• Susan Houser

Worth Watching – Rabun County, GA

[NOTE: The Worth Watching category lists communities whose animal shelter systems are doing substantially better than average, but have not reported a sustained (for one year or more) 90%+ live release rate. These communities are not counted in the running total in the blog’s subtitle. For more about the Worth Watching category, see the Worth Watching page link in the blog’s header.]

Rabun County is located in the northeast corner of Georgia in a mountainous area. It is a very rural area, with a population of 16,000 people. The county seat and largest town is Clayton, with 2000 people.

Up until 2012, Rabun County provided funding to the Boggs Mountain Humane Shelter for animal sheltering in the county. In July 2012, local news outlets published stories accusing the shelter director, Lowanda Kilby, of killing dogs after taking money from their owners on the promise that she would find new homes for them. The board fired Kilby and she was subsequently indicted on theft and other charges. The Boggs Mountain Humane Shelter board announced in August of 2012 that it could not continue to run the shelter due to a lack of donations.

Shannon Conrad, a business owner in Rabun County, organized a new non-profit, Rabun Paws 4 Life (RP4L), and in October 2012 the county commissioners approved the new group to take over the shelter. RP4L had a grand opening on December 8, 2012.

RP4L has been posting its statistics on its website every month since April 2013. (If the link to statistics on the RP4L website does not work for you, substitute the name of the month you want to see for “April” in the URL linked above.) The shelter reports a live release rate of over 90% in each month.

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