In early November, my husband and I had to say goodbye to our elderly dog. She was a rescue Labrador retriever mix who meant the world to us; it was hard to remember a time before all the walks in our Decatur neighborhood, packing her and her things into the car to go on adventures, and the sweet doggie smiles and excitement each time we walked through the door.
While we knew we weren’t ready to adopt again, by the end of November, I was longing to just be around the unconditional love and joy of a dog. Enter LifeLine Animal Project’s “Home for the Pawlidays” initiative, which pairs a shelter dog with a temporary foster family over the holidays.
The truly impressive thing about the staff and volunteers at LifeLine Animal Project is that they take the needs and wants of potential foster parents into careful consideration when pairing them with a pet. We have two curious, sociable cats in our home, and the LifeLine staff was able to pair me with an sweet, cat-friendly and easy-going dog named Ronney. They also supplied me with everything I’d need for my week with Ronney, including food, a harness, a leash, and a crate.
Ronney was the perfect companion and sidekick over the Thanksgiving break while my husband was out of town. During our walks with his bright yellow vest and leash with “Adopt Me” printed on each, I had a few people stop and ask me about Ronney. According to officials with LifeLine Animal Services, one of the best ways to help get dogs adopted is by taking them out into the community and introducing them to as many people as possible. I also took photos of Ronney and wrote a profile about him for LifeLine’s website – another way for volunteers to help pets get adopted, according to organization officials.
Before our week together was up, I received a reply from Ronney’s online profile and photos from a family who wanted to foster Ronney long term. It was just a few weeks later that Ronney found a permanent home and was adopted – all thanks to multiple volunteers and staff working together.
I encourage anyone to try one of LifeLine Animal Project’s various volunteer programs. Whether it’s just taking a dog out for a day, a week or committing to being a long-term foster, LifeLine Animal Project officials said giving a dog a break from the overcrowded and chaotic shelter environment is beneficial for the pets, volunteers, and staff.
The holidays may be about the spirit of giving – but this holiday season, I gained the joy and satisfaction of helping a dog and working with a nonprofit that is helping pets find their forever homes.
LifeLine Animal Project has two locations in DeKalb County; LifeLine Community Animal Center, 3180 Presidential Drive, Atlanta and DeKalb County Animal Services, 3280 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Chamblee.
For more information, visit https://lifelineanimal.org/how-to-help/