LifeLine Animal Project—which since 2013 has managed DeKalb and Fulton Animal Services—this past winter announced the launch of its first capital campaign for a resource sorely needed in the Metro. It’s to be a new LifeLine Animal Center, a project that has raised more than $3.2 million in pledges for construction of a 25,000 sq. ft. facility. Building on current efforts for a full-service, low-cost veterinary clinic open to the public, it will also serve as a premier pet adoption center.
The goal of LifeLine, as envisioned by founder and CEO Rebecca Guinn and pictured with a rescue pup in our headline photo, is a Community Animal Center that will “keep more animals from being surrendered to shelters by providing affordable wellness care up front, while helping every adoptable animal that comes into the shelter find a forever home.” Lifeline has a proactive, humane and determined approach.
Rebecca Guinn, 57, found her calling in 2001. A successful attorney in Avondale Estates, one day she heard howling nearby, investigated, and found a red-haired dog whose paw was caught in a barbed wire fence. After she called animal control Guinn was to learn of the harsh realities of unwanted animals: the shelter was packed with dogs and cats. Upon her return shortly afterward, Rebecca learned they’d been euthanized, a commonplace practice by the thousands nearly every day in shelters.
“I worked hard to become an attorney,” Guinn later said, “but I saw something that really needed to change.” She founded LifeLine in 2002 as a nonprofit, and it’s the leading organization to end euthanasia of healthy and treatable dogs and cats in metro Atlanta shelters. Its humanitarian and practical philosophy led to LifeLine’s management of the DeKalb and Fulton Animal Services Division for about 5 years now, with transformative improvement.
Key to the LifeLine strategy is a Pets for Life program with animal Spay & Neuter clinics, routine procedures that control overpopulation and prevent medical and behavioral problems. Vaccinations are low-cost, sometimes free and accessible as are pet supplies. (LifeLine is proudly supported by the Petco Foundation.) There are innovative programs for feral cats including trap-neuter-return lifesaving options instead of euthanizing. Working Cat programs address healthy felines who are happiest outside and can help control rodent populations. When we hear of hoarding cases for dogs and cats, LifeLine is there to step in.
In March Rebecca Guinn led the launch of the first capital campaign to fund a new LifeLine Community Animal Center. Currently LifeLine cares for 30,000 animals at clinics and shelters but a new facility will extend its reach, allowing service of 20,000 more. A new center is expected to facilitate more than 2,000 pet adoptions a year.
“Together we will make Atlanta a No-kill community” declares LifeLine Animal project, a nonprofit tax-deductible organization. It’s worth a visit to some of the various facilities, including the main DeKalb Animal Services Shelter at 3280 Chamblee Dunwoody Road Chamblee 30341 or a branch at 129 Lake Street, Avondale Estates 30002. To learn more, view the floor plan of a new center or make a donation, go to: LifeLineAnimal.org/animalcenter
-Dr. Paul Hudson