You may think you know about animal rescue organizations, but Furkids Animal Rescue and Shelters is someplace special. It’s a destination you have to experience for yourself, in your own way. You can discover a new part of yourself at Furkids, perhaps not even in the way you expect. What makes Furkids so different, so special? It began with one homeless cat, and today continues with thousands of pet rescues and adoptions, volunteer opportunities, parties, meetings, special events–all contributing to saving thousands of lives every year.
Our First Destination: The Short Story
Furkids came to life with one woman’s determination to save a homeless mother cat and three kittens from being killed because they were homeless. Just 20 years ago, virtually all homeless animals in Georgia were killed—because no one wanted them. That woman saved those cats, and during 20 years, Furkids grew to become one of Georgia’s largest no-kill animal rescue, shelter and sanctuary for homeless cats and dogs. Some 55,000 injured, abandoned, lost, hopeless animals have been given the gift of a second chance at life. They passed through Furkids’ doors into the light of health, happiness, joy, loving adopted families and their own forever homes. But Furkids is more than a successful animal rescue organization. Now, Furkids is a destination for animals and people who love them.
Furkids purchased nearly 10 lush acres of property at 5235 Union Hill Road in south Forsyth in 2018, with the goal of creating a haven for pets and animal lovers that is like no other. It began with the land—gently rolling trails, landscaped gardens, ponds, fountains and woods filled with birds, butterflies, fish and wildlife. The property originally was Wakoola Water Gardens, whose owners wanted to share the beauty of water as part of nature and show how water nurtures animals and people. Furkids saw the land as its own forever home, a nurturing place with large spaces and a healthy environment for Furkids animals; an inviting atmosphere for potential adopters and the community to interact with the furkids; and a peaceful, verdant locale for volunteers and visitors.
“Every one of us has a destination and purpose in our lives, and with the theme Destination Furkids, we have embarked on the journey to our destination—an imaginative, highly advanced animal rescue and shelter sanctuary combined with a human getaway and green space designed to revitalize the bodies and souls of animals and people,” said Furkids CEO Samantha Shelton. “Furkids is a destination where people can have so many options. They can have fun, live out their dreams, work better, save lives, make memories or improve the world by volunteering.”
Anyone who drove past the property during the past couple of years could watch its transformation begin. Furkids volunteers and professionals have been renovating the dilapidated main building, restoring and landscaping the acreage, repairing ponds, streams and fountains, and constructing a series of charming animal-service buildings. A stroll through the leafy campus today reveals a large, rustic headquarters building and cat shelter, multiple smaller buildings for animal care and housing, an outdoor event space, two large ponds, gardens, patios, waterfalls, fountains, woodland paths and several acres of undeveloped forest, where visitors are welcome to wander. Furkids is adjacent to the Big Creek Greenway and connected by a path, giving easy access to Furkids from the Greenway.
Right now, Furkids is renovating the original barn from the property into a special events venue for private parties and gatherings, which is expected to be completed by 2022. Ultimately, Furkids will complete the destination with new buildings including a cat shelter, a dog shelter, a veterinary clinic, a café and pet boutique, a pet cemetery and memorial garden, and a building for community events.
What’s Your Destination—Fun, Work, Personal Satisfaction?
You can plan a party, meeting or indoor or outdoor event; connect with the animals; take part in lifesaving activities including adoption events, foster events where you can learn about being a foster caregiver for a cat or dog in your home; take part in monthly low-cost vaccine clinics, yoga on the green and more! With approximately 1,000 active volunteers and a robust volunteer program for people of all ages, including children and seniors, there are lots of opportunities to be part of Furkids lifesaving work. Furkids volunteers are the backbone of the program and help in a myriad of ways including animal care, foster care, veterinary services, indoor and outdoor construction, landscaping, entertainment, consulting services, transportation, marketing, public relations, and event planning. Volunteering your time, creativity and skills makes a direct impact on you– and the thousands of homeless animals Furkids saves each year.
Kids are a big part of Furkids volunteers. From hosting donation drives, to becoming a shelter caretaker or reading and socializing with the resident cats, youth volunteer opportunities are proven to enrich social skills, increase empathy, and deliver the importance of civil responsibility.
Is it time to boost company morale? Are you leading your company’s efforts on social change? Searching for a perfect location for your next team building event? Check out Furkids’ lifesaving volunteer programs, educational talks, shelter tours and animal connections to further increase employee loyalty, engagement and productivity. Furkids supplies the backdrop, you bring the fun!
Coming Soon to Destination Furkids: An Event for Social Good
Want a unique event that also will make a difference in the lives of homeless and abandoned animals? Host your wedding, private event or company party at The Barn at Furkids, a rustic, 3,400-square-foot barn renovated to retain its original charm while serving as a state-of-the-art facility where all proceeds will benefit Furkids’ lifesaving programs! This venue will make your event gorgeous, beneficial and uniquely memorable.
You’re destined to leave a lasting impact on more than just your guests. To get a sneak peek, follow along at furkids.org as we build The Barn at Furkids.
We invite you to discover your own personal destination at Destination Furkids. Visit www.furkids.org and earn a top spot as a great human!