LifeLine Animal Project, a metro Atlanta nonprofit promoting lifesaving animal welfare solutions, is celebrating its successful first year managing the DeKalb County Animal Services shelter, a contract awarded by the county.
Since beginning management on July 1, 2013, LifeLine has dramatically decreased euthanasia rates, increased adoptions and improved the health of its shelter animals while also implementing di-rect community outreach to better the welfare of pets county-wide.
“In our first year, we’ve answered the community’s outcry to improve this shelter,” said Rebecca Guinn, CEO and founder of LifeLine Animal Project. “But we still average an intake of 30 animals every day, so there’s more work to be done as we lead this movement for change.”
LifeLine’s approach addresses the multiple causes of shelter overpopulation in DeKalb. For animals already in DCAS’ care, LifeLine controlled the shelter’s disease problem and implemented strict proto-cols to prevent future outbreaks, so animals are healthy and ready for adoption. Through adoption promotions, fostering and partnering with other shelters in need of pets, the nonprofit increased adop-tions at DCAS by more than 300 percent and reduced the euthanasia rate by more than half, reaching an all-time low of 13 percent in December.
“We have hundreds of wonderful pets for adoption at all times, so we encourage anyone interested in adopting a pet to visit the DeKalb shelter,” said Susan Feingold, shelter director at DCAS.
LifeLine also offers resources and programs to keep pets in their owners’ care and reduce over-population. This year, DCAS added trained personnel to help struggling owners find alternatives to sur-rendering their pets. Together, DCAS and LifeLine have gone directly into the community to supply free doghouses, behavioral training, leashes, food and vaccinations for those in need. Programs like Spay Neuter Impact Program DeKalb and LifeLine’s Spay & Neuter Clinics help prevent unwanted litters through free and reduced-cost spay/neuter services. Much of this work is largely funded by donations and grants from supporters.
“Moving forward, we want to show that companion animal welfare isn’t just an animal issue, it’s a com-munity issue,” Guinn said. “Our treatment of pets and stray animals defines us, so we have a responsibility to work together in the hopes of substantial, lasting transformation.”
For more information on DeKalb County Animal Services, visit www.dekalbanimalservices.com or call 404-294-2949. The DeKalb County shelter is located at 845 Camp Rd., Decatur, 30032, and is open:
• Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
• Tuesday and Thursday: 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
• Sunday: noon-4 p.m.