CHAT for Animals



The sound of small animals begging to be taken home is usually what Lisa K. Norton hears as she walks into the door of another animal shelter. Lisa is the president of CHAT (Citizens for Humane Animal Treatment). Lisa is also a title abstractor and a lawyer with her Juris Doctorate degree. Lisa has been involved with animals all of her life. She was involved in barrel racing and won the High Point trophy for the state of Georgia.


She grew up in the small town of Lakeland, Georgia, which is located right outside of Valdosta.. Lisa was most recently recognized in the Times Union for standing up to the mayor of her hometown for not banning the gas chambers.



Dog Pictures 

Photograph courtesy of


“Nothing is more precious than puppy breath or holding a kitten”, Lisa says


Ms. Edwards and Ms. Flanders founded CHAT in 1988. CHAT is a non-prophet organization that helps any kind of animal. CHAT was started when animal shelters started to become overcrowded, so they would kill the animals by putting them in a metal chamber and hooking up a hose from the exhaust pipe of a truck into the chamber,  and the animals were gassed.


Now, thanks to Lisa and CHAT things are changing for the better. Through the years, over 16,000 animals have been helped -- all thanks to CHAT. Lisa says that CHAT is very important to her and that she enjoys being a part of the organization.


CHAT holds adoption fairs once a month at the St. Simons Island pier, and these fairs are advertised in the Brunswick News. At the adoption fairs information on spaying and neutering is given out, and the animals from various shelters are put up for adoption.


Lisa says, “It is a special gift to have a pet.”


The adoption process is quite easy if you would like to adopt a pet. The new owner must spend time with the animal. A history of the animal is given to the new owner. The new owner also has to sign a contract that says they will take care of the animal and if they are not able to, then they will inform CHAT.


Lisa puts a hundred percent into the adoption fairs. She comes early and leaves late. She is required to: set up the displays, organize the member participation, spend the whole time at the pier with the animals, talk to the public and answer their questions, try to troubleshoot any problems that come up, make sure the animals are comfortable, care for their needs and then at the end of the day she has to pack everything up and take it home.


On special occasions some of the pets from CHAT are displayed in the window of Whispering Wind on Gloucester St, Brunswick Georgia.


The meetings for CHAT are held on the first Tuesday of every month at 7:00 pm in the First Presbyterian Church, 1105 Union Street, Brunswick, Georgia 31520.


CHAT offers a low-cost spaying and neutering program. The procedure is performed by River City Community Animal Hospital (out of Jacksonville , Florida). To get in touch with River City Animal Hospital call (904) 733-8123 or go online to They bring a mobile unit to Brunswick and Jekyll Island to do spaying and neutering for cats, but starting in June of 2007 they will also be able to do the procedure on dogs.


To have the procedure done the animal must go through a through an exam, and it is checked for any disease. It has the surgery done and receives a 3-year rabies shot. Owners have an option to purchase low-cost flea and heartworm medicine.


CHAT has also gotten involved to with other communities to help them organize animal groups. Some of the locations include Blackshear, Brantley County, and Lakeland, all located in Georgia.


Some other cities that help with CHAT are Fernandina Beach, Florida; Daytona, Florida; McIntosh County, Georgia; Long County, Georgia; and Jesup, Georgia.


CHAT is also becoming involved with the Turtle Walk on Jekyll Island and the wild horses on Cumberland Island.


The community can get involved with CHAT by just stopping by at an adoption day or donating your time to help Lisa. Volunteers are needed to circulate fliers about CHAT and the low-cost spay and neuter program. To contact CHAT, send a letter to PO Box 574, Brunswick, GA 31521.


Most importantly, if you eligible and up to the challenge and responsibility of pet ownership, go to the adoption day and adopt the newest member of your family -- a new pet.


---Bridgette T.



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