Saving every healthy and treatable animal that comes into our DeKalb and Fulton County shelters can be a costly undertaking. Although LifeLine receives funding from the counties to run the shelters, we must raise an additional $2 million to cover extended shelter care, community outreach programs, marketing programs and extensive medical costs.
What medical costs do donations help cover? Our medical expenses vary on a case-to-case basis, because we never know what kind of situation we’ll be facing next. For example, when “Wonder Boy” came into our DeKalb shelter in January, no one could have predicted that this two-year-old boy would have such a severe chest injury, or that his lung would be protruding out his chest wall. Wonder Boy was brought into our DeKalb County shelter veterinary clinic by Animal Enforcement, and when Shelter Veterinarian Dr. Kathryn Haines saw him, she immediately asked her colleague, Dr. House, to take over the spay surgery she was performing, and she started on the emergency surgery that would save his life. Dr. Haines repaired his lung and chest cavity, and Wonder boy pulled through with flying colors! Another animal whose situation was equally as dire was “Poncho,” a dog brought into our DeKalb County shelter in December. Poncho came in with a cord wrapped so tightly around her neck that it had severed her trachea, making it increasingly more difficult for the little dog to breathe. Since time was critical and Poncho would not survive the drive to an emergency facility, Dr. Haines performed the delicate surgery herself, using tissue from another part of Poncho’s body to rebuild her trachea and save her life. Poncho healed quickly after surgery and ended up being adopted by a DeKalb County employee who had heard her story and fallen in love with her.
The donations we raise enable us to take extraordinary measures, often in emergency situations, to save lives. However, there are many other ways to donate that also have a huge impact, including donations of time and supplies. Even just an hour of your time can make a big difference in the life of an animal. It did for shelter dog Blair who was having pain in her leg. A volunteer stepped up and donated an hour of her time to transport Blair to our partner vet for an x-ray which enabled us to treat the pain, making Blair feel much better!
And in December, when our Fulton County Animal Services facility took in 97 dogs from a hoarding case, so many supporters showed up and donated their time that evening, helping to make room for more dogs by taking current shelter animals home to foster temporarily. People also donated blankets, newspapers, toys, crates and tons of food and treats, and each of these donations of time and supplies made a huge impact on our ability to take in and care for so many new dogs.
Wonder Boy, Poncho and the 97 hoarding case dogs are just three out of hundreds of situations we deal with every year where the donations you provide save lives. Donating is just one more way to be “IN” for a lifesaving community. Adopt, Donate, Spay/Neuter and Volunteer. How will you show you are in for a no-kill Atlanta?