The Transylvania Times -

FIND Outdoors Partners With Local Animal Rescue Agencies


Last updated 3/15/2021 at 1:12pm

FIND Outdoors, a 49-year-old education and recreation nonprofit in Pisgah Forest, recently partnered with two North Georgia-area animal rescue agencies to provide them with additional funding during the pandemic.

“As a longstanding nonprofit, it’s so important for us to support other hardworking organizations for the benefit of all our communities,” said FIND Outdoors’ Georgia Program Manager, Liberti Gates. “When we can make a difference in the lives of others around us, especially our pets, that support is given back to us tenfold.”

Castoff Pet Rescue and Charles Smithgall Humane Society, located in Blairsville and Sautee Nacoochee, Ga., respectively, were the recipients of donations through a new endeavor for FIND called “giving month.” FIND staff at both Brasstown Bald and Anna Ruby Falls Recreation Areas arranged for donations to be collected for the agencies throughout the month of December, with FIND matching the total amount for both sites.

“Because of the pandemic, individuals haven’t been donating as much due to their own financial conflicts,” said Shannon Elliott of Castoff Pet Rescue. “In addition, volunteerism has slowed down drastically over the past year. This is the time when we need help the most.”

Neither rescue agency receives government funding of any kind to stay in operation and rely heavily on volunteers, donations and sales from their local thrift stores. “It’s a heavy burden to manage, considering the sheer number of animals that are looking for homes,” said Carolyn Hergert of Charles Smithgall Humane Society. “Any assistance is so welcome and appreciated.”

Both organizations have followed similar paths to become local nonprofits, including getting their start thanks to concerned citizens who were looking for a solution to the growing number of homeless and abandoned animals in their communities. It was the hard work and diligence of those local volunteers and special donations that allowed the operations to move forward with larger facilities and dedicated employees. In addition to creating new spaces in which to place homeless pets, both agencies agreed that becoming no-kill shelters was a high priority in their operational missions.

“These animals wouldn’t have a chance if not for the incredible staff of these two organizations,” said Gates of the importance of bringing awareness to the shelters. “Shannon and Carolyn are so passionate about their work and we can’t wait to start planning for next year’s event.”

Visit the Charles Smithgall Humane Society’s website at and Castoff Pet Rescue at for more information on how to make a difference in the lives of local pets. Follow FIND Outdoors on Facebook and Instagram to learn more about upcoming programs and activities, and visit their website at

FIND Outdoors is excited to work with both agencies, and others, again for the 2021 season to bring light at the end of the tunnel for so many of our furry, scaly and even feathery friends that need forever homes.


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