The Dobson-Tindall Animal Rescue Center opened this weekend in Cherokee County, giving the county its first permanent facility since the Cherokee County Humane Society formed in 2000.
The facility was named in memory of the late Dr. Ed Dobson, a local dentist whose family gave $100,000 to the humane society around 2001 with the request to build a rescue facility.
But the society's current president Judy Wyles says that money was never spent to construct or purchase a facility, and in fact, the humane society tried to disband in 2007.
That's when Wyles took over and formed a new board of directors, and asked for all the finances. She says there was just about half of the six-figure donation left, and she says none of the accounting records were available.
“I can't speak to what [the former board and director] did with that money,” Wyles said. I'm sure they had good intentions and that they did what they thought was right at the time.”
The rescue center was needed to house puppies rescued from the county animal shelter which takes in about 1,500 dogs every year. Without the facility, the rescued puppies were sent to foster parents before being sent to adoption agencies, typically up north because adoption demand locally isn't as high.
Wyles didn't get discouraged and instead moved on, and over the next few years she worked to raise money, even donating her family's old farm house to be used in the project.
This past weekend, the years of hard work paid off when the Dobson-Tindall Animal Rescue Center opened on Beaver Dam Road.
However, the facility won't be open to the public to adopt, and people can't drop off unwanted pets here. Only rescued puppies from the county's shelter will be housed temporarily at the new facility, but in the next couple of months, they hope to rescue even more puppies and house them at another facility in a neighboring a county, though details about that weren't released yet.