2023 proved to be one of the most challenging years for the teams at LifeLine. Despite everything we faced, sudden illness, shelter overcrowding, veterinary and staffing shortages and so much more, our focus remained on lifesaving and being there for our community to help keep more people and pets together.
Thank you for your support through it all. Continue on reading as we reflect on our top moments of 2023 and share our gratitude for every individual who made these moments possible.
LifeLine Midtown & Response To Canine Flu
Our shelters were hit hard by an outbreak of a new strain of canine flu as we began 2023. Our teams and community rallied to care for the sick animals and place them into homes where they would heal more quickly. Within a week’s time, LifeLine leased and opened an overflow adoption center in Midtown Atlanta. With the help of donations, LifeLine subsidized the $300,000 in costs to open, outfit and operate this shelter in support of the increased need for help in Fulton County.
Employees at Fulton County Animal Services worked heroically all year long to balance animal care and adoption services between two locations. As a result, 251 dogs were adopted from LifeLine Midtown this year!
We are proud of the resilience and adaptability everyone showed; quickly implementing new care and cleaning protocols, frequently sharing updated communications on the situation, raising critical funds to care for the influx of sick animals and, most importantly, saving pet lives. In spite of the hardship, we feel even more prepared to respond to unexpected illness or a medical crisis in the future.
In January, 58 dogs, mainly poodles and poodle mixes, 5 chickens, 2 cats and 2 horses were recovered from a neglect case in Fulton County and transferred to our care. Many of these pets required immediate medical attention before being cleared to leave the shelter. When that happy milestone finally came, to our amazement, fosters and adopters lined up at the door to help these pets who had already been through so much.
Inaugural Good Human Gala
After years of planning, LifeLine held its inaugural Good Human Gala on April 29, 2023. We honored community leaders in animal welfare and raised over $500,000 in support of our city’s animals through ticket sales, sponsorships, raffles and more. We are so grateful for the shared success of this gala and look forward to hosting the Good Human Gala again in 2024. LifeLine is a careful steward of donations, with 92 cents of every dollar raised going directly towards animal care and lifesaving programs.
Expanding Pet Services
With our Healthy Pets events back in full swing, we saw record turnout in Fulton and DeKalb counties. This year alone, LifeLine helped 3,325 dogs and cats receive essential veterinary care and supplies. Providing free veterinary care helps keep more people and pets together!
Additionally, we received a grant from Banfield Pet Foundation to start a mobile veterinary unit! This fully outfitted van has given us the opportunity to expand veterinary services to pets in need who otherwise may not have access. Our mobile vet team has already begun hosting pop-up clinics for the community to offer vaccinations, check-ups and coordinate spay/neuter surgeries, as well as support our county shelters in terms of medical needs for the pets housed in our shelter and in foster homes.
Wombat Goes Viral
Wombat, a shelter resident for 610 days, found fame on TikTok with a viral video that has amassed half a million views! He had long worked with our behavior team to overcome fear-based and anxious tendencies that made it more difficult to meet new people. Soon, Wombat’s corgi-mix looks, high-speed tail wiggle and feisty personality charmed thousands online who rooted for him to find a home. Shortly after the video was posted, Wombat found a foster family who helped him leave the shelter behind. They quickly decided Wombat found his home with them and adopted him!
Mega Spay/Neuter Weekend
LifeLine teams came together and planned a 3-day, non-stop spay and neuter bonanza to provide surgeries for 120 dogs and cats. This effort included 2 veterinarians each day and 15 veterinary technicians, administrative and miscellaneous support staff throughout the weekend. Spay/neuter for pets is essential veterinary care that benefits their long term health and prevents accidental litters from being born and continuing the cycle of entering our shelters.
@lifelineanimal Wombat heard he had a fan club here on Tik Tok so we wanted to drop in to tell a little more of his story! He is available for adoption at our Community Animal Center at 3180 Presidential Drive so come on by and meet this meatball in person. #adopt #atlanta #LifeLine #dogsoftiktok #adoptadog ♬ original sound - LifeLine Animal Project
Sophie Gamand Visits LifeLine
Renowned pet photographer and animal advocate, Sophie Gamand, spent a week in Atlanta visiting our Fulton County shelter. She wanted to help pets in need get adopted and shed light on the hardworking teams that care for these animals. She featured adoptable shelter dogs in her famous flower crown series and shared them with her followers! Almost all of the ones she featured were adopted. We are grateful for her continued support and increased exposure this brought to some of our long-time residents.
Free Dog Fridays
LifeLine is always looking for new ways to encourage people to adopt a shelter pet. This summer, we launched a fun adoption initiative that led to 371 pets finding homes! Every Friday from June through August, LifeLine sponsored adoption fees for the pets in our care. Shout out to all teams for working hard to make Free Dog Fridays a success and always being on board to try new ideas in pursuit of happy outcomes for the animals living in our shelters!
Fulton County Animal Services Grand Opening
After years of advocating, planning and construction, the brand new Fulton County Animal Services facility opened to the public on December 2nd! Countless individuals were responsible for making this dream a reality and we were blown away by the support on grand opening day. County officials, leaders in animal welfare, LifeLine staff and supporters, alike, spent the afternoon enjoying the new shelter. Even celebrity dog trainer, Victoria Stillwell, came by to show her support! We are extremely grateful and excited for this new chapter and our increased ability to help people and pets in Fulton County. Visit us soon as 1251 Fulton Industrial Blvd NW in Atlanta to bring home a pet of your own!