Community support saves hundreds of dogs from euthanasia

Officials with LifeLine Animal Project, a nonprofit that manages both DeKalb and Fulton counties’ animal services, said they recently put out a desperate plea to save more than 150 dogs in the metro area – and the community showed up, going above and beyond their expectations.

On Jan. 24, officials with LifeLine Animal Project released an emergency update, stating that the shelter located in DeKalb County had been “operating at critical capacity for the last year.”

“We must find homes for at least 150 dogs in the next seven days,” the statement reads, in part. “If we can’t get more dogs out of the shelter, we will have to euthanize due to lack of space.”

Although LifeLine Animal Project has the goal of ending the euthanasia of healthy and treatable shelter animals, according to the nonprofit’s website, the DeKalb County shelter location had “reached a point where [there is] no room to humanely house the dogs, nor space for incoming pets in need.”

At the time, there were 593 dogs in a shelter designed to house about 450 dogs at full capacity.

Soon after the emergency shelter update was published, the community stepped into action, said LifeLine Animal Project officials.

“In just seven days, 345 dogs from our DeKalb County Animal Services shelter have left the shelter behind for new homes,” states a post on LifeLine Animal Project’s Facebook page. “After a year of slow adoptions, packed kennels, and running out of all options, you answered our call in the 11th hour.”

“Last week, our DeKalb shelter had 593 dogs in the shelter. Today, there are 312,” states the post, published on Jan. 31. “Our Fulton shelter, which has also suffered from overcrowding, watched 89 dogs find homes. Our pets and our staff are celebrating this moment with you. We’re hopeful that in the weeks and months ahead, we can continue this lifesaving momentum and prevent the shelter from being stretched beyond its capacity to a point where we can’t support those that need us most.”

LifeLine Animal Project has two facilities in DeKalb County.

Along with LifeLine Animal Services offering adoptions for $23, which included the cost of all vaccinations and spay/neuter procedures, other businesses in the metro area began offering incentives for LifeLine adopters and fosters, including:

• Fetch Park, a dog park and bar concept with locations in Atlanta, Alpharetta, Buckhead, and Columbus, is offering a free year-long membership for some dogs adopted from a DeKalb County shelter location. Those eligible are required to bring adoption papers and proof of vaccinations to a Fetch Park location for the membership. Fetch Park officials also said that Brookhaven Animal Hospital, Vernon Woods Animal Hospital, and North Springs Clinic are providing all necessary vaccinations required for eligible dogs adopted through LifeLine to enter a Fetch Park location free of charge. For more information, visit www.fetchpark.com.
• Diamond Alexander, owner of Diamond’s Doggy Daycare in Decatur, is offering free baths and grooming to those fostering a shelter dog through any LifeLine Animal Project location. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/diamondsdoggydaycare/ or call or text (678) 561-4932.
• Some apartment complexes, such as Cortland at the Village in Smyrna, are waiving pet fees for those adopting or fostering a dog through the LifeLine Animal Project locations in DeKalb County. Officials recommend checking with management on their pet policies.

“Our organization began its journey with the simple mission of ending the unnecessary euthanasia of shelter pets,” said a LifeLine Animal Project official. “We now know, through your response and compassion, that when we come to you to help the animals most at risk, our community will be there. That’s the only way we can save lives together.”

LifeLine Animal Project is still in need of adoption and foster parents. Now through the end of February, all adoption fees are waived and include each adopted pet’s spaying/neutering, vaccinations, and microchipping.

LifeLine Animal Project has two DeKalb County locations; the LifeLine Community Animal Center is located at 3180 Presidential Drive in Atlanta and DeKalb County Animal Services is located at 3280 Chamblee Dunwoody Road in Chamblee.

Visit www.lifelineanimal.org for more information.

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