Avondale Estates-based LifeLine Animal Project is one of only 12 animal shelters nationwide chosen to participate in Human Animal Support Services (HASS), a new national coalition pilot program creating community-based solutions to animal sheltering and pet ownership and transforming the shelter system through innovative programs and services.

HASS builds off of support animal shelters have experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Organizations across the country, including LifeLine, which manages animal services in Fulton and DeKalb counties, were embraced by their communities who fostered pets, adopted, helped lost or found animals get back to their homes and identified new resources to keep individuals and their pets together.

HASS pilot centers will provide a range of services and solutions to support their communities. These include remote services like veterinary telehealth and text support, lost animal return-to-owner initiatives, foster-care programs, behavioral and training services and much more.

LifeLine and the following organizations were selected to participate in the program, based on their demonstrated track records of successfully implementing positive changes for pets in their communities and shelters: Arkansas’ Cabot Animal Services North Carolina’s Charlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Care and Control, Texas’ El Paso Animal Services, California’s Fresno Humane Animal Services, Los Angeles Animal Services, Oakland Animal Services and San Diego Humane Society, South Carolina’s Greenville County Animal Care, Washington’s and New Jersey’s Humane Rescue Alliance, Missouri’s Kansas City Pet Project and Arizona’s Pima Animal Care Center.

“We are honored to be part of this collaboration of innovative shelters to work toward an organizational model that has goals so closely aligned with our community vision,” LifeLine CEO Rebecca Guinn said in a news release. “I’m confident that this initiative will help pave the way for a new model of animal sheltering in the U.S.”

Lisa LaFontaine, CEO of the Humane Rescue Alliance in Washington and a member of the HASS executive leadership team, added, “We’re bringing thought leaders and experts in fields like human social work and public health alongside animal welfare, researchers to create the community animal support centers of the future. The impacts of COVID-19 have accelerated our efforts to modernize animal services and we now must dedicate the immediate energy of our movement to accomplish our urgent goal.”

For more information on LifeLine’s HASS initiatives, visit lifelineanimal.org/human-animal-support-services. For more information about HASS, go to humananimalsupportservices.org.

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