Fostering Courage, Trust and Love. Homeward Bound Pet Rescue Encourages a Passion for Caring

By on December 1, 2014

Homeward Bound Pet Rescue

Homeward Bound Pet Rescue is a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization located in Gilmer County, Georgia dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of homeless companion animals.

The all-volunteer staff provides the necessary medical care for these animals, attends to their emotional, behavioral and socialization needs, and then seeks to place them in loving homes through adoption. Homeward Bound also aggressively supports an on-going spay/neuter program in the community.

A Little Bit of History. Homeward Bound was founded in August 2000 by two caring women who fostered and vetted stray dogs before adopting them out to loving homes. They soon discovered that the need in their community was overwhelming. They opened an account with a $500 deposit, and subsequently sought and obtained 501(C)(3) tax exempt status.

An old chicken coop served as the organization’s first shelter. It had dirt floors, no heat, no air conditioning and only the bare necessities to care for the animals. In 2006, Homeward Bound received a building on 2.88 acres of land. The 30 year old structure, formerly the Gilmer-Fannin Humane Society facility, stood vacant for years. It, too, had no heat, air conditioning or fencing and the grass was as tall as the building itself. But in the eyes of the dreamer, the potential was there and the facility soon became the official home for the organization.

In April 2012, Homeward Bound was on the verge of closing its doors, –not for lack of funds but personnel. A community meeting was held in Ellijay Georgia to renew interest in the work of the organization and increase its volunteer base. The response was both positive and immediate. The revival of community participation and the effort put forth by the volunteers kept the doors of Homeward Bound open.
Our Volunteers. It takes more than a village to run Homeward Bound. It takes a passionate army of volunteers who devote time, energy, and expertise to the rescue and rehabilitation effort. Some volunteers are only vaguely aware of their significance. They are preoccupied instead with doing what they do best, –creating a safe, nurturing environment, and helping forgotten, discarded animals find the courage to try again, trust again, love again.

Without their feedback, their initiative, their ideas, their diligence, their grueling hard work…without their flexibility, their enthusiasm, their passion, their open and loving hearts, we would not be who we are, what we are, where we are.

Our volunteers man phone lines, plant shrubs, solve problems…they mow grass, do laundry, fix lots of broken stuff and solve even more problems. They scrub, they clean, they polish, they organize. They travel to neighboring counties to rescue helpless animals, open up their homes to foster an animal with special needs and fall in love every time a new furry kid crosses the threshold of Homeward Bound. If a challenge occurs, they meet it. If a conflict occurs, they resolve it. If a mountain is foolish enough to get in their way, they move it! Simply put… without our volunteers, there is no Homeward Bound Pet Rescue!

Since its inception, Homeward Bound Pet Rescue has rescued over 7,000 animals –an awesome statistic for an awesome organization! ACLM

Homeward Bound Pet Rescue Inc. of Gilmer County
PO Box 792, Ellijay, GA 30540
706. 698. 4663 or


Serving Ellijay, Gilmer County, Kennesaw, Cobb County and the surrounding Atlanta area. You must be 21 to adopt and you must complete an application, which will be followed by an interview.

Homeward Bound Pet Rescue’s adoptable pets can be seen every Saturday from 11am-5pm and every 1st, 3rd, 5th Sunday from 12pm-5pm at PetSmart, 860 Cobb Place Blvd, Kennesaw, GA 30144. Or by appointment only at their kennel in Ellijay.

For more info visit: and

Homeward Bound Pet Rescue’s Paws & Claws Thrift & Gift Store

Paws & Claws Thrift and Gift opened its doors in beautiful downtown Ellijay for the first time in December of 2013.

Since then it has become the Ellijay “go to” place for low cost, new and gently used merchandise. Homeward Bound Pet Rescue’s Paws & Claws carries a constantly changing large selection of clothing, kitchen and housewares, arts and crafts, jewelry, hard to find collectables, furniture on occasion, and of course pet products and clothing.

Do you need to clean out that closet or garage? Do you need a tax deduction? Do you want to save the life of a homeless animal? At Paws and Claws the friendly staff are always happy to accept your donations.

Paws and Claws is not your ordinary thrift store. The atmosphere is more reminiscent of a fine boutique. The staff are all unpaid volunteers. The products are all donated. Every cent you spend here is used to provide for the animals at Homeward Bound Pet Rescue and to keep the store open.

Take a break from the usual holiday madness. Come, shop, relax, and save at Homeward Bound Pet Rescue’s Paws & Claws Thrift and Gift store where furry friends and family are always welcome.

PAWS & Claws Thrift and Gift
24 S. Main St
Ellijay, GA 30540
(706) 267-PAWS
Hours: Tuesday thru Saturday 10:00 am – 4:30 pm. Closed Sunday / Monday