Hometown Public Servant: Betty Gambrell Animal Shelter staff


This week’s Hometown Public Servants are the employees of Emanuel County’s Betty Gambrell Animal Shelter.

The job description of our local shelter staff varies greatly and include feed, water, groom, bathe, exercise, or otherwise care for shelter intakes, as well as keeping records of feedings, treatments, and intakes and discharged canines. Cleaning, disinfecting, and upkeep of kennels and other requirements are also included in the job. 

In addition to on-site duties, Betty Gambrell Animal Shelter staff also serve as the county’s animal control for canines and are known as animal control officers. When a dog is left abandoned or thought to be lost from its owners, the animal shelter is notified and sends an animal control officer to transport the involved canine(s) to the shelter so that proper home placement protocols can begin. The shelter also responds to assist with dogs at large within city limits who show possible threats to civilians. 

Intakes within the county as a whole tend to range in high numbers when counting pickups and drop-offs at the local shelter which is why shelter staff coordinate with many rescue groups to ensure proper home placement with caring families is prominent in their goal of being a no-kill shelter. 

Fact: Did you know, last year’s shelter report highlighted that only 13 of 593 intakes were euthanized? 

The shelter also serves as a community service project for the county so that individuals assigned to community service can complete their hours through volunteer work at the shelter. 

On top of their busy schedules with maintaining the shelter and its intakes, shelter staff also find time to spend time with the canines to provide love and care until their chance at a fur-ever home finally arrives. Animal control officers even appear for court appearances to be the voice for abused or neglected canines. Other appearances made on behalf of shelter staff include public events and school functions to promote proper care for pets, the importance of adopting a pet, spayed and neutering services, proper pet ownership, and much more. The shelter also assists with financial contributions to have canines spayed and neutered through grand funding. 

The Betty Gambrell Animal Shelter is managed by Leta Fuentes. Fuentes has been an employee at the shelter for 7 years. She is a certified animal control officer and has completed trainings in animal cruelty investigations, animal law source and training, and other courses. Full time employees include Mercedes Hepworth and Richard Newsome.

Fuentes address’ community…
“It’s so important to spay and neuter your pets, we can’t stress that enough. It is also important to abide by the county rabies shot requirements. We kindly remind locals to be more mindful of the leash law that is in affect within the city limits of Swainsboro. Lastly, please make an effort to always treat animals humanly.,” Fuentes commented

The Betty Gambrell Animal Shelter accepts donations and welcomes visitors to come visit the location and adoptable shelter pups. The Betty Gambrell Animal Shelter is located at 343 Market Street in Swainsboro. Their hours of operation are Mondays through Fridays, 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.; and Saturdays, 8 a.m. until 12 p.m. Stay connected with shelter updates by visiting Emanuel County Animal Shelter or give them a call at 478-237-4040.


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