LOCUST GROVE, Ga. — If you head north on I-75 and pull off into the Locust Grove exit, you might want to visit Noah's Ark. It's a wild animal sanctuary, but they just got a load of family pets in who all need homes.
Noah's Ark founder Jama Hedgecoth has always loved stray animals.
"I told my parents when I was a very young child, 'When I grow up, I'm going to be the mommy to all of the animals that don't have a mommy,'" she recalled.
Hedgecoth fulfilled that childhood prophecy when, in 1978, she opened up Noah's Ark Wildlife Sanctuary.
"We have tigers, bears, lions, monkeys -- we have everything you'd see in a zoo," she exclaimed, and now, they have dozens and dozens of playful and energetic Chihuahuas.
They all came from one house in Butts County. The owner had to surrender them, and animal control asked Hedgecoth and the Ark to step in.
"When I say there was a lot of dogs, there was a LOT of dogs," Jama said.
Noah's Ark can handle all of them, but the goal is to get every single one a "furever home" by this fall.
If you're interested, just go to their website and fill out an adoption form.
"They could live to be 20-plus -- it's a commitment, but I do tell people Chihuahuas are like potato chips -- you can't have just one," she chuckled.
It will run you $250 for an adult and $350 for a puppy, but they'll be spayed or neutered and up to date on their shots.
"Last night, we vaccinated 140. That's a challenge when they don't want to be caught," Jama said.
They're wiggly, and Hedgecoth loves every minute of it.
Caring for them is a lot of work, and, of course, she wants to find them all great homes, but if she thinks ahead a couple of months when they're all gone, "Now you're going to make me cry. I'll miss them," she said.