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Liam and pup

Seasonal Spotlight: Volunteers

We are excited to kickoff 2024 with the first volunteer spotlight of the year! Volunteering is for everyone. No matter your age or background, you can make a difference in the lives of shelter pets in our city! These volunteers go above and beyond, helping in more ways than one, and have found an incredible sense of community in volunteering at LifeLine!

Ben Farrey
DeKalb County Animal Services
volunteer Ben Farrey

Tell us about yourself!

I am a very shy person, but becoming a volunteer has helped me be less shy. I am not in a good setup to have a adopted or foster dog myself  so I love volunteering very much with the dogs!

Please tell us your "impact" moment when it comes to being involved with LifeLine Animal Project.

When I initially tried to reach intermediate volunteer, it did not go very well. But, other LifeLine volunteer buddies mentored me and gave me extra tutorials until I got there successfully. I am proud I kept at that goal. 

What advice would you give someone who is considering joining the volunteer community?

Any and all volunteers are needed. Be kind to yourself as you start and never force it if you don’t feel comfortable leashing a particular dog. I like how the volunteer instructional program builds on each previous step. It is laid out well.

Katharine and Liam Montgomery
Fulton County Animal Services
Katharine and Liam Montgomery and dog Bingo

Tell us about yourself!

Liam is in the fifth grade at the Atlanta Speech School. He plays soccer and enjoys swim team in the summer. His freetime activities include gaming and playing with friends. I am his Mom. I have previous volunteer experience in my neighborhood with my civic association and with projects in our local parks and creeks. I am not a native of Atlanta but moved here in 2000 for graduate school. I liked Atlanta so much that I stayed.

What drew you to want to get involved with LifeLine?

It was a coincidental moment of luck that connected us to volunteering at LifeLine. We went to the former LifeLine Midtown location to donate some old towels and found out you only had to be 10 years old to volunteer as long as you had an adult volunteering with you. Liam was 10 at the time. He loves animals and has a special interest in cats, but we do not have a pet cat. Volunteering opened up the opportunity to help with cats…and dogs. We went through the multi-step process to get qualified as volunteers and had our mentor training and started volunteering at the former FCAS location. Volunteering at LifeLine has created a special opportunity for Liam and I to volunteer together.

What is your favorite part about being in the LifeLine community?

Liam’s favorite part about Lifeline is helping different animals every time we visit the shelter. He loves to socialize the cats. That means he plays with friendly cats to increase their comfort with people. My favorite part about the Lifeline community is the support from staff and other volunteers.

Not only do we volunteer at the shelter, but we also foster Lifeline cats and dogs at our home. We have had a tremendous amount of training, support and encouragement from other volunteers and shelter staff. Our fostering experiences range from bottle-feeding orphaned kittens, rangling puppies and an energetic young dog to hosting a shy, semi-feral dog that lost her litter of puppies. Every fostering experience has been different and we needed different skills to face each situation. Every time we questioned our ability to handle a situation we got the help we needed from other volunteers and Lifeline staff.

Daniel Pruitt
LifeLine Community Animal Center
Daniel Pruitt

Tell us about yourself!

I am a long time volunteer at different shelters around town and I also work as an audio technician for the film and television industry. I had been a long time volunteer at Best Friend’s Atlanta, but when they switched to a foster only operation, I was looking for a new place to help out where they were housing dogs. A good friend of mine and amazing volunteer at Lifeline, Jamie Seratelli, who had also volunteered at Best Friends before, reached out and said they could really use the help. I have been coming ever since thanks to her.

What is your favorite outcome story for a shelter pet?

As overwhelming and disheartening as it can be, there are some wonderful success stories that keep us going and inspire me to keep going. My favorite outcome is when someone gives a dog a chance by temporarily fostering them, discover they are amazing, fall in love with them, and they end up getting a wonderful permanent home with that foster or with someone else who sees how they are thriving with the foster. Fostering is another great way to give a dog a break from the shelter. We can learn so much about how a dog really is in a foster situation which may not be apparent in the shelter. We can then share this information with people when they come in looking for a dog. It is invaluable and a great program!

What advice would you give someone who is considering joining the volunteer community?

Just do it, please! We really, really need you. If we could get just 10 more people to walk a dog for 20 minutes a couple of times a week, it would make all the difference. You would make a dog’s day. You can just see the excitement and joy in their eyes when they know they are going out for a bit. Their joy is contagious. It warms my heart every time. It’s good for the soul and you are doing a great thing.

01 Frisco

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