UPDATED: Closings and Cancellations due to COVID-19/Coronavirus

News
Break-In closings, rally

Stay up to date with closings in Gilmer County and keep visiting this article daily to find out the latest closings and cancellations as they are announced.

 

UPDATED March 18, 2020 – Mountain Cinemas Close

In an email from Mountain Cinemas parent company, Georgia Theatre Company, the announcement was made for closings of theatres owned by the company. This includes Ellijay’s own Mountain Cinemas.

The company said, “Georgia Theatre Company puts the health and safety of our employees and customers above everything we do. It is with great regret that we have decided to close all of our theatres temporarily due to the suggestion of the President, the WHO and the CDC. We will continue to monitor the coronavirus situation very closely and will post the latest company news on our website. We will open to the public as soon as we can and will provide a safe and clean environment for you to enjoy all of your favorite movies in a communal setting.”

Additionally, they addressed concerns for those who may have already puchased advanced tickets. For those who have purchased tickets:

Purchases made on our website can be refunded at GTCmovies.com/refunds
For purchases made in person or on the GTC app, please contact your local theatre or send us an email at CustomerService@GTCmovies.com prior to the showtime on your ticket.

Calling the movie theater in Ellijay provides a similar response as they say they are temporarily closed and hope to be open again soon.

 

UPDATED March 18, 2020 – Gilmer Chamber closes for sanitization

President and CEO of the Gilmer Chamber, Paige Green offered a letter today explaining closings for the Chamber at both locations beginning today.
She said, “In an effort to protect our staff and to provide an opportunity for the cleaning and sanitizing of both of our facilities, the Gilmer Chamber and Downtown Welcome Center will be closed Wednesday, March 18 through Sunday, March 22.”
The Downtown Welcome Center will remain closed through at least March 31. The Gilmer Chamber will be closed to the public (except by appointment only) beginning Monday, March 24. Staff will be working in the building from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to answer calls and provide necessary services and respond to email.
Paige Green, President & CEO will also be available at 706-889-2889 for emergency purposes. Otherwise, please call the office between 10a and 3p Monday through Friday.
Paige Green, President & CEO- president@gilmerchamber.com
Ellen Grant, Membership Manager- membership@gilmerchamber.com
Lisa Salman, Tourism Manager- tourism@gilmerchamber.com
Caitlin Neal, Communications Manager- communications@gilmerchamber.com
Thanna Chadwick, Administrative Assistant- info@gilmerchamber.com
Additionally, the SBA is working with Governor’s across the country to provide federal assistance during this time to qualifying businesses and nonprofits.
You can learn more and register to receive updates at https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance. Green said, “I strongly encourage all businesses experiencing economic injury to visit the site and register.  You will also find attached more information about the SBA disaster assistance funding.”
Green went on to offer the Chamber’s aid in these times to help spread updates, hours of operations, and garner information. She said, “We will continue to support our local businesses as best we can through this time.”

UPDATED March 18, 2020 – Gilmer ARTS adjusts cancellations

As the COVID-19 situation continues to develop at a rapid pace, Gilmer Arts is following the advice of the CDC guidelines that have been issued to ensure the safety and health of our staff, volunteers, members and our patrons. As of Sunday, 15 March, the CDC has revised their recommendation to cancel all gatherings from 250+, to 50+ for the next 8 weeks. The Federal Government has suggested cancelling groupings of 10+. This will impact several events in the next few weeks at Gilmer Arts and at the George Link Jr, Gilmer Arts Playhouse. Here is list of events:
Spring Chorus Rehearsals/ Performance – Cancelled. (Check back for Fall schedule)
Storytelling (3rd Thursday of month) – Cancelled for March and April 2020
Acoustic Blends (3rd Friday of month) – Cancelled for March and April 2020
Volunteer Brunch (28 March) – Cancelled (will be rescheduled for a May date)
Exit Laughing (27 March – 5 April) – Postponed. Opening will be June 26th and will run 3 weeks
Auditions for Arsenic & Old Lace (14-16 April) – Cancelled (play in June will be replaced with Exit Laughing)
BEST Visual Art Opening and Show (17 April-20 May) – Cancelled. New date TBD
Meet the Author (18 April) – Postponed. New date TBD
Concert, Connor Lorrie (25 April) – Cancelled. New date TBD.
 
The above schedule takes us out for the next 8 weeks. As the advice from the CDC changes or as new State/Federal mandates come out, so may our future scheduling. Please check the website and social media sites frequently for any further changes or call the Gallery at 706.635.5605.
 As you can imagine, these changes are happening at a very fast pace. As soon as we have all the information, you’ll need for each show cancellation or change, we will provide updates and details to ticket holders directly through emails and/or phone calls. We will also continue to post the most up-to-date information on our website and social media pages. The Gallery will remain open for you to come see the latest art; however the hours will temporarily change.
The new Gallery hours are Wednesday through Friday 12-6PM and Saturday’s 12-5PM. Please stop by and see the current Youth Exhibit through April. We rarely have more than 2-3 people in there at a time. We assure you we are doing are part to sanitize and keep things clean and sanitized for you. Also, some classes may still be available. We will update schedules as they change.

 

 

UPDATED March 17, 2020 – East Ellijay closes public access

Facing the concerns of the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), East Ellijay has released information today about closings in the offices in the coming weeks.

East Ellijay has closed public access and is putting signage up to inform citizens. They are outlining a new process for contacting City Staff.

Additionally, Municipal Court, originally to be held on March 25, has also been canceled.

 

UPDATED March 17, 2020 – BOC Closes and BOE Extends Closing

closingsThe Gilmer County Board of Commissioners are joining the list of closings in Gilmer County this week as they officially announced today.

An email was sent out saying, “Due to the Coronavirus and for the safety of our employees the Board of Commissioners Office will be closed to public access until April 6, 2020.  For assistance please call 706-635-4361. Thank you.”

Despite the closure, the BOC will continue on with tonight’s, March 17, 2020, Public Hearing and Regular Meeting.

Additionally, Gilmer Schools, which have already been closed, is extending the closings

Many of you have seen Georgia Governor Kemp’s Executive Order mandating school closure March 18 – March 31, 2020. The Gilmer County School System will plan to remain closed until April 3, 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Online learning opportunities for grades 6-12 and take home packets of student work for grades K-5 will continue at home during this time. Teachers will remain available by email and online learning regularly throughout the school day from 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM Monday-Friday. Teachers will hold designated office hours from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM. Seamless meals will continue to be provided during this time and will be coordinated through School Nutrition and Transportation.

The Administrative and Technology Offices (ATO) will be closed with staff working from home from 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM Monday – Friday and visiting the office daily only for short periods on a limited basis.

Schools will remain closed to all instructional staff. School level administrators will be working from home from 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM Monday – Friday to answer emails and make phone calls when needed.  School level administrators will be visiting the schools only when necessary for short periods of time.

The Gilmer County School District will remain closed for our regularly scheduled Spring Break from April 4 – April 12,2020 with students returning on Monday April 13th.  

This situation is constantly evolving as evident in how quickly things have changed in the last 7 days. We will continue to remain in contact with the Governor’s Office, Georgia Department of Education, and the Georgia Department of Health. As soon as we receive any relevant information, we will share it with you.

 

 

UPDATED March 17, 2020 – MESSAGE FROM THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF GILMER ARTS

As the COVID-19 situation continues to develop at a rapid pace, Gilmer Arts is following the advice of the CDC guidelines that have been issued to ensure the safety and health of our staff, volunteers, members and our patrons. As of Sunday, 15 March, the CDC has revised their recommendation to cancel all gatherings from 250+, to 50+ for the next 8 weeks. The Federal Government has suggested cancelling groupings of 10+. This will impact several events in the next few weeks at Gilmer Arts and at the George Link Jr, Gilmer Arts Playhouse. Here is list of events:
Spring Chorus Rehearsals/ Performance – Cancelled. (Check back for Fall schedule)
Storytelling (3rd Thursday of month) – Cancelled for March and April 2020
Acoustic Blends (3rd Friday of month) – Cancelled for March and April 2020
Volunteer Brunch (28 March) – Cancelled (will be rescheduled for a May date)
Exit Laughing (27 March – 5 April) – Postponed. Opening will be June 26th and will run 3 weeks
Auditions for Arsenic & Old Lace (14-16 April) – Cancelled (play in June will be replaced with Exit Laughing)
BEST Visual Art Opening and Show (17 April-20 May) – Cancelled. New date TBD
Meet the Author (18 April) – Postponed. New date TBD
Concert, Connor Lorrie (25 April) – Cancelled. New date TBD.
 
The above schedule takes us out for the next 8 weeks. As the advice from the CDC changes or as new State/Federal mandates come out, so may our future scheduling. Please check the website and social media sites frequently for any further changes or call the Gallery at 706.635.5605.
 As you can imagine, these changes are happening at a very fast pace. As soon as we have all the information, you’ll need for each show cancellation or change, we will provide updates and details to ticket holders directly through emails and/or phone calls. We will also continue to post the most up-to-date information on our website and social media pages. The Gallery will remain open for you to come see the latest art; however the hours will temporarily change.
The new Gallery hours are Wednesday through Friday 12-6PM and Saturday’s 12-5PM. Please stop by and see the current Youth Exhibit through April. We rarely have more than 2-3 people in there at a time. We assure you we are doing are part to sanitize and keep things clean and sanitized for you. Also, some classes may still be available. We will update schedules as they change.
For Tickets you have purchased:
As a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, Gilmer Arts relies heavily on donations and ticket sales for events. It is our hope that for all purchased tickets of a cancelled event or in the event that you are sick and cannot attend an event that you have purchased a ticket for, you will select one of the two options:
1.      Accept a gift certificate for the face value of your ticket(s) which can be used for any future event, performance or class at Gilmer Arts.
2.      Convert the ticket amount to a charitable donation.
We sincerely thank you in advance for your patience as we work through this challenging and unprecedented situation. Gilmer Arts is so grateful for the ongoing support of all our patrons, and we look forward to seeing you back in our venues when this crisis has passed.

 

 

UPDATED March 16, 2020 – Wine Highway Week Cancelled

North Georgia Winegrowers are disappointed to announce that the 2020 Wine Highway Week has been postponed due to recent guidelines announced by the CDC yesterday, “… large events and mass gatherings include conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings, and other types of assemblies. These events can be planned not only by organizations and communities but also by individuals. Therefore, CDC, in accordance with its guidance for large events and mass gatherings, recommends that for the next 8 weeks, organizers (whether groups or individuals) cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States.”
Our members are working together to reschedule this event to a later date.

While this sanctioned event is postponed, the following wineries will be open for the dates and times the event was scheduled:
March 20 – April 5, 2020
Monday – Fridays 1-5pm
Saturdays 11am -5pm
Sundays 12:30-5pm

12 Spies Vineyards and Farms
Big Door Vineyards
Cartecay Vineyards
Cavender Creek Vineyards and Winery
CeNita Winery and Tasting Room
Chateau Meichtry
Crane Creek Vineyards
Creekstone Winery
Currahee Vineyards
Twisted Wine Garden at Dahlonega Resort and Vineyard
Engelheim Vineyards
Etowah Meadery
Habersham Winery
Hightower Creek Vineyards
Kaya Vineyard & Winery
Odom Springs Vineyards
Paradise Hills, Cabins-Spa-Winery
Serenity Cellars
Sharp Mountain Vineyards
Stonewall Creek Vineyards
Sweet Acre Farms Winery
The Cottage Vineyard & Winery Inc.
Yonah Mountain Vineyards

We encourage you to support and visit these wineries.

 

 

UPDATED March 16, 2020 – Carter’s Lake and Gilmer Jail close

GILMER COUNTY, Ga. – A new round of closings came today with several announcements in response to the Coronavirus and the increase in Georgia Cases over the weekend.

Along with closures over the weekend of county services and schools, new closings are continuing this week for the Gilmer Detention Center and Carters Lake.

The Gilmer Sheriff’s Office posted to social media saying:

In order to keep all inmates, our staff, as well as all visitors’ health in mind and in compliance with ‘social distancing’ due to corona virus concerns, the detention center is suspending all inmate visitations TEMPORARILY until further notice.

If you have any questions or concerns, you may call Captain Daves, Lt. Couch, or Lt. Smith at 706-635-4625.

Additionally, the new closings extend to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Carters Lake who posted yesterday saying:

With an abundance of caution and considering the concerns related to COVID-19 the Carters Lake Visitor Center will be closed March 16th-30th in a preemptive attempt to slow the spread of the virus. We will continue to provide updates as they become available. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Later, FYN confirmed that this closure is only the visitor center. The recreation areas are open, including camping. As of now, they will also stay open. But to avoid closed space and confining crowds, the visitor center has closed.

The Gilmer Chamber has closed its downtown welcome center in Ellijay to undergo a deep cleaning and to avoid exposure of the worker at the location who could be at risk. However, the main branch and welcome center will remain open.

Also, the City of Ellijay has canceled its March meeting for Monday, March 16, 2020.

Stay tuned to FYN as we continue to update you and post new closings from the community as they are announced.

 

 

UPDATED – March 14, 2020

GILMER COUNTY, Ga. – More closings and announcements are continuing this weekend as another two county services close in response to concerns and State Government urgings to shut down to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

county services close closings

A statement from the Gilmer Animal Shelter announces closing next week.

The Gilmer County Animal Shelter announced around noon today that they would be closing “until further notice.”

The shelter is closing to both public access and volunteer workers. However, there will still be staff members taking care of the animals.

They stated, “We are only allowing staff to come in and care for our animals at this time. Animal Control will be running as normal. Calls will be returned as often as possible. Please be patient as we work through this.”

The shelter apologized for the inconvienice, but stated they are trying to both care for the animals at the shelter while also making sure the community is safe.

The statement also added, “Please know that we would never allow the animals to go without care.”

As county services close, it is not just in the animal shelter as the Gilmer’s Sequoyah Regional Library is also announcing a closure.

The general social media page for the the Sequoyah Regional Library System stated:

Out of an abundance of caution, all branches of the Sequoyah Regional Library System will close on Monday, March 16 until further notice. e-Library services will continue as normal. Advance voting will continue as scheduled at Ball Ground Public LibraryHickory Flat Public Library, and Rose Creek Public Library. Materials should be kept at home. Fines will not accrue while the library is closed. Please check this page for updates and additional information.

The post was also shared and copied onto the Gilmer Library page as well.

county services close

The Gilmer Library is not only closing, but cancelling events and programs next week for the Coronavirus.

This closure is not just a building closing however as the announcement is spreading to several events, services, and public access opportunities along with it. The Library has already announced the cancellation of the events “Journey into the Amazing Body!” and “Letters from a Confederate Soldier.”

However, a new post today came saying, “In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sequoyah Regional Library System is suspending all programming, outreach, conference room use, and community room use beginning Monday, March 16 through the end of March. We will not be accepting community room applications at this time. We will continue to provide updates as they become available. We apologize for any inconvenience.”

 

 

 

ORIGINAL POST – March 12, 2020 – Closings and Cancellations due to COVID-19/Coronavirus

GILMER, Ga. – According to a release from Gilmer County Schools, the system will shut down with all school closings next week in the fallout from information and concerns over the Coronavirus in the county.

According to a public release from Gilmer County Schools Superintendent Dr. Shanna Downs, the closure will last from Monday, March 16, 2020, through Friday, March 20, 2020.

The release states, “Our school district is committed to keeping our community informed about issues relating to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). There are no cases of COVID-19 at any Gilmer County school and currently there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 in Gilmer County. Our schools are not closing Friday, March 13, 2020, as we need to allow time for students and staff to retrieve needed materials and technology to be prepared for this closure. We will use Digital Learning Days during this closure for 6th-12th grade and paper learning packets for Kindergarten-5th grade to continue teaching and learning.”

Students will be retrieving these materials tomorrow, March 13, in order to follow these instructions next week. The release acknowledges that some hardships will come from this closure but said the plans are being finalized at this time.

While the current announcement is just for the week listed, Downs confirmed that future closings could be possible based on the need saying, “The district will continually review conditions and publish updates. Should additional closures be necessary we will notify you as soon as possible.”

The closings will not just be for students, however. All Gilmer schools and offices will be closed during the week along with all activities including athletics and extracurriculars including GHSA (Georgia High Schools Association) events  being cancelled, and additional closures could continue for these as well.

One point of note for testing, however, Downs said that, currently, SAT testing will still occur this Saturday, March 14, 2020.

With school closed, plans are being made to deep clean the schools and to provide meals in a similar manner to the Seamless Summer Program.

See the full release below:

closings

Homeward Bound Pet Rescue Pet of the Week – Oliver

Community

Homeward Bound Pet Rescue, Inc’s mission is to find safe, loving homes for unwanted pets in
the North Georgia area. Homeward Bound has re-homed over 7000 pets since 2000. We are a
100% non-profit, no kill organization that is completely run by volunteers and depend on
donations, grants, Paws and Claws Thrift Store and fund raising events during the year.

Homeward Bound Pet Rescue, Inc.

P.O. Box 792
Ellijay, GA 30540
706-698-HOME (4663)
Apply on line: www.hbpr.org
LIKE us on FaceBook

Meet Oliver, a 19#, 1 ½ year old beagle, an owner surrender due to nobody having time to
spend with him. This little cuddler gets along well with others, loves to walk on a leash,
definitely a “nose to the ground” kind of boy. A fenced yard would be great; kids would be a
plus!

Contact HB and we will set up a meeting! Apply online: www.hbpr.org
We’d also love to tell you about volunteering, fostering and adoption opportunities.
Homeward Bound pets are up to date on vaccinations, treated month for fleas, ticks and heart
worms, spayed or neutered and are ready for adoption unless specified otherwise.
We are available for a “meet and greet” by appointment. The address is: 215 Wishon Drive,
Blue Ridge, GA (off Maxwell Road). We do recommend bringing everyone who will be involved
with the new pet; especially your dog(s).

Thank you for your support! We couldn’t survive without the help from our friends!

Pet of the Week! Featuring Sienna

FYNTV, Lifestyle
pet of the week

Sienna is the star of the show this week! Come by the Humane Society of Blue Ridge to meet her and other wonderful cats and dogs that you can adopt!

Changes coming to Animal Control

News

ELLIJAY, Ga. – A couple from the area of Woodland Acres spoke in August’s Commissioners’ meetings about an ongoing problem with dogs running loose in the area.

In the ensuing discussions, on August 8, 2019, Commission Chairman Charlie Paris promised citizens that changes would be coming to the Animal Control Ordinances of Gilmer County in efforts to address this and similar issues in the county.

The most vocal, Sto Goodwin and Debra Christian, live as neighbors in Woodland Acres and began discussing the issue on Wednesday, they tell FYN that several people in the area have had issues with dogs running free in the area. Christian named the breed Cane Corso as one that has specifically harassed her. She went on to say that the issue has not been handled properly as they have reported the issues, Animal Control has picked up the dogs on the loose, but the owner in question just get the dogs back. This owner, who was not named, has allegedly gone to court, promised to move, and made other promises that have not been kept.

Christian alleges that the owner refuses to enclose the dogs and actively trains them in “Predator Control.” She was supported in these allegations by both Goodwin and even Chairman Paris who said, “He has been very clear with us in the past that he expects his dogs to be able to run free, and that we’re welcome to fine him. He’ll pay the fine, but they will run free.”

Paris stated that the problem has existed for several years. Due to the increasing allegations and some citizens even saying they have video of the dogs killing cats and other animals as well as chasing after people in the area, responses are now increasing. While Paris said that they cannot just go and take the dogs by law, he did say that the county is already changing one thing right now. Animal Control’s policy for returning animals found off of owner’s property is going to step up plan.

Paris said, “Previously, if an animal was brought in that was found off the owner’s property, it was $150 fee to reclaim it. If it came in again, it was another $150. What we’ve done is we’ve lowered the first offense to $100, and if that person, who comes in, is willing to have us spay or neuter the particular animal, then we will lower it to $75. That’s the first time, and this is per owner, not per animal. The second time an animal from that owner comes in, it’s $300. And if they want to spay or neuter, we’ll back it up one level to $100. The third time it comes in, it’s going to be $600, then $900. And then it’ll be $1000.”

Paris went on to note that citations will also go along with that.

These new changes are just part of the major changes that could be coming to the ordinance. Paris promised those present that he would be looking into the ordinance to have something to present next month. Goodwin asked how many animals might die by the time this situation reaches those higher levels of fees.

Goodwin said that this issue has gone on for six years with nobody seeming to respond or even care as this one owner hides behind a law claiming exemption for dog attacks on other animals under certain circumstances. One of those exemptions involve Predator Control, being the training claimed for these animals. However, he also tells FYN that he has neighbors who have photos and even a video of one of the dogs with a mutilated cat in its mouth.

Additionally, with potential citations, court litigation, and other outcomes from additional issues arising, County Attorney David Clark warned those citizens that continued investigations would require continued support from citizens. He said they cannot back off from standing up for the issue as the county and court systems cannot pursue them through Animal Control without citizen support.

Goodwin stated that he did not want to harm the dogs as he blames the owner for their training and activities, but he warned that if they continued being aggressive and threatening others, someone was going to get hurt.

Paris also said he was worried about citizens attempting to protect themselves and potentially harming or killing the animals.

Moving into the the minimal 3-month process, changes are currently expected to be advertised in September, if approved the first reading will be in October, if approved there the second reading and final adoption will be in November.

Thanksgiving Pet Safety brought to you by Mountain Emergency Animal Center

Lifestyle

Thanksgiving is a special holiday that brings together family and friends, but it also can carry some hazards for pets. Holiday food needs to be kept away from pets, and pet owners who travel need to either transport their pets safely or find safe accommodations for them at home. Follow these tips to keep your pets healthy and safe during the holiday.

Poison Risks

Overindulging in the family feast can be unhealthy for humans, but even worse for pets: Fatty foods are hard for animals to digest. Poultry bones can damage your pet’s digestive tract. And holiday sweets can contain ingredients that are poisonous to pets.

  • Keep the feast on the table—not under it.  Eating turkey or turkey skin – sometimes even a small amount – can cause a life-threatening condition in pets known as pancreatitis. Fatty foods are hard for animals to digest, and many foods that are healthy for people are poisonous to pets – including onions, raisins and grapes. If you want to share a Thanksgiving treat with your pet, make or buy a treat that is made just for them.
  • No pie or other desserts for your pooch. Chocolate can be harmful for pets, even though many dogs find it tempting and will sniff it out and eat it. The artificial sweetener called xylitol – commonly used in gum and sugar-free baked goods – also can be deadly if consumed by dogs or cats.
  • Yeast dough can cause problems for pets, including painful gas and potentially dangerous bloating.
  • Put the trash away where your pets can’t find it.  A turkey carcass sitting out on the carving table, or left in a trash container that is open or easily opened, could be deadly to your family pet. Dispose of turkey carcasses and bones – and anything used to wrap or tie the meat, such as strings, bags and packaging – in a covered, tightly secured trash bag placed in a closed trash container outdoors (or behind a closed, locked door).
  • Be careful with decorative plants. Don’t forget that some flowers and festive plants can be toxic to pets. These include amaryllis, Baby’s Breath, Sweet William, some ferns, hydrangeas and more. The ASPCA offers lists of plants that are toxic to both dogs and cats, but the safest route is simply to keep your pets away from all plants and table decorations.
  • Quick action can save lives. If you believe your pet has been poisoned or eaten something it shouldn’t have, call your veterinarian or local veterinary emergency clinic immediately. You may also want to call the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline: 888-426-4435. Signs of pet distress include: sudden changes in behavior, depression, pain, vomiting, or diarrhea. Contact your veterinarian immediately.

Precautions for Parties

If you’re hosting a party or overnight visitors, plan ahead to keep your pets safe and make the experience less stressful for everyone.

  • Visitors can upset your pets. Some pets are shy or excitable around new people or in crowds, and Thanksgiving often means many visitors at once and higher-than-usual noise and activity levels. If you know your dog or cat is nervous when people visit your home, put him/her in another room or a crate with a favorite toy. This will reduce the emotional stress on your pet and protect your guests from possible injury. If your pet is particularly upset by houseguests, talk to your veterinarian about possible solutions to this common problem.
    Learn about dog bite prevention.
    • If any of your guests have compromised immune systems (due to pregnancy, some diseases, or medications or treatments that suppress the immune system), make sure they’re aware of the pets (especially exotic pets) in your home so they can take extra precautions to protect themselves.
    • If you have exotic pets, remember that some people are uncomfortable around them and that these pets may be more easily stressed by the festivities. Keep exotic pets safely away from the hubbub of the holiday.
  • Watch the exits. Even if your pets are comfortable around guests, make sure you watch them closely, especially when people are entering or leaving your home. While you’re welcoming hungry guests and collecting coats, a four-legged family member may make a break for it out the door and become lost.
  • Identification tags and microchips reunite families. Make sure your pet has proper identification with your current contact information – particularly a microchip with up-to-date, registered information. That way, if they do sneak out, they’re more likely to be returned to you. If your pet isn’t already microchipped, talk to your veterinarian about the benefits of this simple procedure.
    Learn more about microchips.
  • Watch your pets around festive decorations. Special holiday displays or candles are attractive to pets as well as people. Never leave a pet alone in an area with a lit candle; it could result in a fire. And pine cones, needles and other decorations can cause intestinal blockages or even perforate an animal’s intestine if eaten.

WHAT FOODS ARE TOXIC TO DOGS AND CATS?

Thanksgiving is almost here and that means an abundance of delicious food. However, many popular human dishes aren’t healthy for pets to consume. It’s important to remember which foods are bad for dogs and cats. Especially, during holiday meals when dogs and cats beg for table scraps and guests might fall for those cute faces. Below are six Thanksgiving foods bad for cats and dogs. Make sure to keep these away from your pets to ensure they remain healthy this Thanksgiving. Also, don’t forget to inform your family and dinner guests about these potentially dangerous or toxic foods for pets so they do not feed them to your four-legged family members.

6 Thanksgiving Foods That Are Bad for Cats and Dogs

1. STUFFING

Thanksgiving dressing is often made with onions, scallions or garlic. These ingredients, however, are extremely toxic to dogs and cats and can cause a life-threatening anemia (destruction of the red blood cells). It’s best to avoid feeding any amount of stuffing to pets.

2. HAM

Ham and other pork products can cause pancreatitis, upset stomach, vomiting and diarrhea. Pork is also high in fat, which can lead to obesity in pets. Even a small amount of ham can contribute a very large amount of calories to a small dog or cat’s diet.

3. TURKEY BONES

Bones can cause severe indigestion in dogs and cats, potentially causing vomiting and  obstructing the bowel. Bones may also splinter and cause damage to the inside of the stomach and intestines. In some cases, turkey bones may even puncture through the stomach and cause a potentially fatal abdominal infection.

Be Prepared with Pet Insurance. Get a Quote Today in 3 Minutes or Less.

4. MASHED POTATOES

While potatoes are safe for pets to eat, mashed potatoes usually contain butter and milk, which can cause diarrhea in lactose intolerant pets. Additionally, some recipes call for onion powder or garlic, which are very toxic to pets.

5. SALADS WITH GRAPES/RAISINS

There are many salads served at Thanksgiving that include grapes or raisins as an ingredient, from fruit salad, to waldorf salad, to ambrosia. However, grapes and raisins are very virulent and potentially deadly. Grapes can cause severe, irreversible and sometimes fatal kidney failure in dogs. Be sure to keep all dishes that include grapes and raisins away from pets.

6. CHOCOLATE DESSERTS

While pumpkin pie is the most famous Thanksgiving dessert (canned pumpkin also has many pet health benefits), many people offer a variety of chocolate desserts at Thanksgiving. Chocolate is toxic to dogs and cats, yet dogs love the smell and taste of it. The darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is. Keep all chocolate desserts out of the reach of pets to prevent an emergency trip to the veterinarian.

If your pets ingest any of these foods this Thanksgiving, be sure to call your veterinarian immediately.

The most important part of holiday pet safety is early action, which may prevent more costly and serious complications from developing. Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

 

Reward for Missing Pets in Gilmer county

Community

Reward offered for the safe return of 2 beloved missing pets in Gilmer County.  A local family is missing their German Shepherd mix and also a 14 year old Boston Terrier, both neutered.

The dogs darted through the woods beside the family’s home in the Roundtop area between Old Hwy 5 and Hwy 382 in Gilmer county.  The German Shepherd had just been groomed and shaved and unfortunately was not wearing his collar.  They have been missing 2 days and the family is very worried.  These are very loved family pets and greatly missed.  They do not want to be lost.  Please call 770.878.252 or 706.276.7740 if you have any info on either of these missing pets.  Thank you for your help.

Pet Safety Tips for the 4th of July

Community, Featured

These 4th of July, Pet safety tips brought to you by Mountain Emergency Animal Center!

Mountain Emergency Animal Center ~ Snake Bites & Pet Safety

Community

It’s Warming Up!!! If you are enjoying the warmer weather now, so are the snakes! As a matter of fact, while driving home, a Garter Snake slithered in front of my car while at a stop sign. Some of my neighbors have told me that they’ve seen Copperheads about.
Venomous snakes injure over 150,000 dogs and cats every year in the US. This data is about 10 years old! So, you can only imagine as we continue to encroach upon their territory, there are going to be more exposures. In our area, the Copperhead is the most common venomous snake; however, there are also Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake, Timber Rattlesnake, Cotton Mouth, Pigmy Rattlesnake and Coral Snakes in Georgia. In North Georgia, the Timber Rattlesnake and Copperhead are most commonly the cause of envenomation in pets and people. Rattlesnake venom is much more potent and deadly than that of the Copperhead. All of the snakes listed with the exception of the Coral Snake are Pit Vipers which belong to the family Crotalidae. Pit Vipers have triangular heads, elliptical pupils and “pits” or scent glands where there “nose” is (pic. #1).  Image may contain: text

Pit Vipers in Georgia:

Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake (pic. #2) 
Copperhead (pic. #3)
Timber Rattlesnake (pic. #4)
Cottonmouth/Water Moccasin (pic. #5)

 

 

 

Pit Viper venom contains over 50 enzymes which damage tissue. The snake uses the venom to immobilize their prey and pre-digest the tissue. Basically, these snakes cannot digest food that well in their gut, so venom breaks down the muscle, the connective tissue and the blood before they ingest it. So, the same thing happens when a dog or cat is bitten. The venom starts to digest the tissue and causes the blood to not clot.
Bites to pets most often occur on their face and front legs. Most owners will say they saw their dog digging after something and then hear a loud “yelp.” Soon after being bitten the area becomes swollen, bruised and very painful.

Signs your pet has been bitten by a venomous snake may include:
• Rapid swelling at the site of the bite
• Severe pain
• Bleeding from the fang punctures
• Drooling
• Discoloration of the skin to dark red or purple
• Bite marks—these may be difficult to see because the pet’s fur
• Rapid breathing
• Weakness
• Collapse (inability to get up)
• Pale gums

What to do if your pet is bitten:
• Limit your pet’s activity and keep your pet calm. This will help decrease the venom from circulating throughout the body. The more activity, the more blood flow and faster the heart beats increasing the amount of venom spread in the body.
• Contact your family veterinarian immediately or an emergency veterinary hospital such as MEAC.

What NOT to do if your pet is bitten:
• Do not place a tourniquet above the bite
• Do not cut over the wound
• Do not try to “suck” the venom out of the area
• Do not apply ice to the area
• Do not apply electrical shock to the area
• Do not give any medications

Typical testing and treatment performed
• Blood tests to check cell counts, blood clotting ability (coagulation times), organ function tests of the liver and kidneys
• X-rays of the chest if the pet is having trouble breathing or congestion in the lungs
• Pain medication
• Cleaning of wounds
• Intravenous fluids for shock and blood loss
• Antivenin administration—this is the best treatment and acts as an antidote to the venom
• Supplemental oxygen
• Plasma and sometimes blood transfusion
• Hospitalization and observation

Downtown Ellijay hosts St. PETrick’s Day

Community

ELLIJAY, Ga. – The Ellijay Merchant’s Association hosted their annual St. PETrick’s Day event downtown on March 17 with a marked growth over last year.

More vendors, more pets, and more entertainment added to the improvement of the event that took place, mostly, in the parking lot between Dalton Street and Hipp Street next to First Baptist Church of Ellijay. Those in attendance were also treated to live music throughout the day from “Trailer Hippies.”

In addition to added vendors offering everything from food, crafts, and T-shirts to homegrown produce, the Friends of Gilmer Animal Shelter were on scene for information and commemorative photos. Homeward Bound has also become an annual presence making dogs available at the event for adoption as well as showing them off in the parade.

The festivities peaked mid-day with a training demonstration for dog owners and contests occurring shortly after the main event of the parade of pets walking up North Main from the Elementary School, circling the roundabout, and going down River Street before taking North Avenue back to the school.

The parade itself also grew this year with several representatives from Ellijay Jeepers decorating Jeeps in true St. Patrick’s style. Boy Scout Pack 402 made a presence in the parade as well as several local businesses and organizations including Pets On Main, Gilmer Animal Shelter, Shelter Dogs for Veterans, Friends of Gilmer Animal Shelter, Kids Ferst, Abby’s Ice Cream & Frozen Yogurt, and Sliding Rock Cabins. And of course, countless dogs and their humans marched on the downtown area for the festivities.

As usual, though, dogs were not the only animals attending, several owners brought their own exotic pets including a cat, two goats, and a red-tailed boa constrictor.

 

 

Would You Know How to Perform CPR on Your Pet? Watch the Training Video by Mountain Emergency Animal Center

Community, Featured

Mountain Emergency Animal Center is a outstanding emergency vet clinic located in Blue Ridge, GA. They have a full surgical room, ICU kennels, a blood bank, and they keep anti venom on hand at all times. They are fully equipped to deal with any medical emergency your pet may have.

In this video they do a CPR training to show you exactly what you would need to do if your pet goes into cardiac arrest. This is great information for any pet owner.

Mountain Emergency Animal Center

Serving the Tri-State Area (GA, NC, TN)
Call us at 706-632-7879

Pet Emergency? Read no further and call us right away!dog

Pet emergencies, like human ones, can happen anytime. Your pet’s injuries and illnesses may require immediate attention.

11th Annual Paws in the Park presented by Humane Society of Blue Ridge October 21st 10am – 2pm Downtown Blue Ridge City Park

Community

Pet of the Week – Clyde! Brought to you by The Humane Society of Blue Ridge

Business

Rena brought us another beautiful furry friend today named Clyde! Clyde is just 7 months old and is part German Sheppard. As you can see in this video he is well behaved, sweet and loves attention. Clyde is looking for his forever home and would be a GREAT addition to your family. He is great with other dogs as well as kids. For more info on Clyde or any of  the animals at the Humane Society of Blue Ridge visit their website.

Shelter Dogs For Veterans Event Rides Into Ellijay

News

The Shelter Dogs for Veterans (SDFV) Event in Ellijay raised roughly $2,300 over the weekend in support of their organization in conjunction with local volunteers.

The cookout, auction and bike ride were all hosted by Legion Post 82, the Legion Riders and local members who helped. Shelter Dogs For Veterans (Formally Paws Be Good) saves dogs from kill shelters and trains them to be service dogs for our military veterans with (PTSD) Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder & (TBI) Traumatic Brain Injury.

With over 75 people attending the event despite the weather threats, the 15 SDFV Volunteers were able to bid off several items including their largest bid of $100 for a dog bed package containing two beds, two bowls, and treats as well as raffling off an American Flag Quilt which was made locally and donated to support the function. The raffle winner for the flag is set to be drawn at the upcoming Legion 4th of July Celebration.

Graduation Ceremony of Rescued~Saving Detainees & Dogs One Life at a Time

Featured, News

The Graduation Ceremony of Rescued was held on January 26th at the Colwell Detention Center.  Rescued is a joint effort between Colwell Probation Detention Center, Mountain Shelter and Castoff Pet Rescue to rescue dogs who would otherwise be euthanized, while providing a positive impact on the offenders within the Colwell Detention Center.

Each Program participant made an impact statement and it was abundantly clear the positive effect the time spent working with these dogs and the wonderful people associated with the program had made on these men.

I have always thought dog was God spelled backwards because dogs are such a beautiful reflection of unconditional love.  This program makes the lives better for so many more than the ones in the program, it reaches every aspect of the rest of these men’s lives, family, coworkers, friends and each person they may ever encounter.  I would love to see this program all over the United States.

Enjoy the photos and the full graduation video below.

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Blue Ridge Pet of the week~ Meet Patrick! 10/7/16

GMFTO

Keep your Pet safe on the 4th of July!

Community

keep pets safe

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