Pets and animal advocates in DeKalb County had much to celebrate in 2018 with LineLine Animal Project’s announcements and accomplishments throughout the year. The nonprofit, which is known as the leading organization working to end the euthanasia of healthy and treatable dogs and cats in metro-Atlanta shelters, stayed in the 2018 headlines, making LifeLine Animal Project the DeKalb Neighbor Newsmaker of the Year.
Centered on Care
In March, the nonprofit launched their first capital campaign to fund the new LifeLine Community Animal Center. The new 25,000 square foot facility will be located at 3180 Presidential Drive near the intersection of I-85 and I-285 will feature a full-service, low-cost veterinary clinic that will be open to the public, and a premiere adoption center which will increase the adoption capacity by 2,000 annually. The goal of the Community Animal Center is to keep more animals from being surrendered to shelters by providing affordable wellness care up front, while helping every adoptable animal that comes into their shelters find a forever home, according to officials.
“With the help of some key donors, including individuals, community funders and national foundations, we are proud to report that we have secured over $3.2 million in pledges toward the project. As this is our first capital campaign, we are thrilled with the result thus far. But, we’re not finished yet,” said Public Relations Director Karen Hirsch.
The new facility will offer accessible low-cost or free veterinary care at a state-of-the-art veterinary clinic, have a fully equipped clinic onsite and will house 1,000 more animals per year. LifeLine currently cares for 30,000 animals a year at its clinics and shelters.
The Community Animal Center is projected to open around May of 2019.
As LifeLine Animal Project’s contract to manage DeKalb County Animal Services reached the five year mark in 2018, the county worked on drafting and reviewing a Request for Proposal for future services – leading members of the commissioner-appointed Animal Services Advisory Board and pet advocates throughout DeKalb on a crusade to keep the nonprofit in place. Controversy arose when concerns were voiced over a new bid proposal draft with guidelines that did not match up to LifeLine Animal Project’s goals. However, members of the advisory board and the community stayed in the forefront at meetings, showing support for LifeLine’s continued management of animal services. Board members brought up concerns like extended stray hold periods and more difficult and rigorous adoption processes, along with data showing significant changes since LifeLine’s takeover, to county commissioners at a Committee of the Whole meeting in Decatur. The presentation and overwhelming support worked and the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners approved the contract for LifeLine to run the DeKalb shelter for five more years. “They are now preparing a contract for us to review and sign and from what I understand, some significant positive changes were made,” said Hirsch.
In order for LifeLine Animal Project to continue to succeed and grow, innovation is key and the non-profit implemented a number of programs to help socialize shelter animals and increase adoptions in 2018. New programs and expansions include “Dogs Playing for Life" that allows the nonprofit to safely take large groups of dogs out at one time, enabling many more dogs the ability to get out and play vigorously and more annual Healthy Pets DeKalb and Fulton events where volunteers provide free vaccinations, spay/neuter surgery vouchers, microchips, county registration, food, leashes, collars and more to thousands of residents. “We've doubled the shelters' volunteer and foster bases and significantly increased the number of groups that rescue with our shelters throughout the year,” said Hirsch.
For more information, visit www.lifelineanimal.org.