It’s hard to believe that a whole year has flown by since we opened the doors to our LifeLine Community Animal Center (CAC) last October! We were all excited about the potential lifesaving that our brand new shelter and low-cost veterinary clinic could facilitate. And while we never could have predicted what was to come when we opened, the CAC had an outstanding year. It’s been a steady source of happy endings during otherwise tumultuous times.
The Original Vision
As part of our initial vision for the Community Animal Center, we wanted a top notch animal shelter to provide overflow housing for our DeKalb and Fulton County Animal Services shelters. And this past year, the shelter has done just that.
During the first eight months of 2020, the CAC helped fill the gap for affordable veterinary care, facilitated countless happy endings and freed up needed space at our county shelters. And for the first time, we served as a safety net for hundreds of rural shelter pets at risk for euthanasia.
Our Community Animal Center veterinary clinic has been very busy too! We saw a dire need for affordable veterinary care in Atlanta. Since we opened the doors, we haven’t slowed down one bit. And we’ve provided all the services of a typical veterinary practice, plus a vast array of specialized surgeries. These include removing heartworms from a dog’s heart (a rare and tricky surgery which had a successful outcome!), repairing a dog’s fractured jaw, repairing a kitten’s fractured neck and removing bullet fragments from a dog who had been shot, to name a few.
With the onset of COVID-19 this past March, we knew that humans weren’t the only ones who’d be affected by the pandemic’s financial impact. So we began building the Stay Together Fund to help keep people and their pets together during tough financial times.
Pilari & Grayson
The Stay Together Fund has helped people like Pilari. She came into Fulton County Animal Services (FCAS) in tears, because her dog, Grayson, had stopped eating, was vomiting and had become lethargic. Pilari was homeless but seeking transitional housing and unable to afford veterinary care. Heartbroken, she thought that her only alternative was to surrender Grayson to FCAS.
But we assured her that she didn’t have to give up her beloved family member to receive veterinary care! The CAC vet clinic provided it for free. It turned out that Grayson just had a bad case of hookworms, which is simple to treat. And, we also provided a free neuter surgery and vaccines and kept Grayson until Pilari found transitional housing. A LifeLine employee then drove Grayson to Pilari once she was settled for the joyful reunion.
Ashley & Monza
The Stay Together Fund also helped Ashley, a single mom with a toddler who also supports her own mother. After Ashley’s pup Monza began limping badly and experiencing pain, a veterinarian told her that Monza probably had a torn ACL. He would require surgery from a specialist, but the vet wasn’t certain because Ashley couldn’t afford x-rays.
Not knowing what to do, she reached out to LifeLine for help and ended up bringing Monza to the CAC. He received the needed x-rays, confirming the torn ACL. So, knowing that Ashley couldn’t afford specialized care, one of our outstanding vets performed the intricate ACL surgery on Monza at no cost! He is back to being a playful pup once again!
People and Pets Can Stay Together
In the past, people in similar situations may have had no choice but to surrender their pets to a shelter to receive veterinary care. But thanks to the generous donors of our Stay Together Fund, these human-animal families can remain together.
As more people continue to struggle financially, the need for free veterinary care continues to grow. So we want to continue to provide veterinary care for struggling pet owners whose pets face an unexpected illness or injury. But we cannot do it without you. Your support of the Stay Together Fund will ensure that pets don’t suffer or die because their owners can’t pay full price for veterinary care. This help keep pets with the people who love them.
Please help us celebrate the Community Animal Center’s wonderful first year of keeping people and pets together. And make an impact by donating to the Stay together Fund.