Gwinnett County officials are teaming up with Planned PEThood of Georgia Inc. to make sure animals housed in a shelter run by the county have access to medical care.

County commissioners approved a contract with Planned PEThood earlier this week to have Duluth-based animal welfare nonprofit provide veterinarian services at the Gwinnett County Animal Welfare and Enforcement Shelter in Lawrenceville. The annual contract is for $360,000.

Officials said having the veterinarian services at the shelter can expedite the adoption process because it means animals who are strays or have gone unclaimed can get vet care and sterilization faster.

“This contract increases the shelter’s efficiency by promptly evaluating, testing and treating contagious or infectious diseases such as parvovirus, feline distemper, mange, ringworm and flu,” commission Chairwoman Charlotte Nash said in a statement.

Under the terms of the agreement, Planned PEThood will provide a full-time veterinarian and veterinarian technicians on-site at the shelter. Depending on the season, those employees would be at the shelter five or six times a week.

The veterinarian and the technicians will evaluate animals and provide treatments ranging from vaccinations to surgery meant to heal fractures, cuts and wounds prolapses or to deal with sterilization. They will also test and treat animals for heartworm, Feline HIV.

“The contract provides for veterinary examinations, surgical and diagnostic services, and the ability to work with our volunteers from UGA vet students and Gwinnett Tech vet students,” county Community Services Director Tina Fleming told commissioners on Tuesday.

I'm a Crawford Long baby who grew up in Marietta and eventually wandered to the University of Southern Mississippi for college. Earned a BA in journalism (double minor in political science and history). Previously worked in Florida and Clayton County.

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