We are featuring a few of our amazing volunteers who continue to go above and beyond for Atlanta’s animals. LifeLine volunteers make a lasting impact through a variety of activities. These activities can include learning about new shelter pets and matchmaking pets and adopters, conducting doggie playgroups, mentoring new foster parents, taking photos and writing pet bios, and so much more. Our volunteers are an integral part of our lifesaving mission, and our staff and shelter pets are so grateful for their time and dedication!
Jamie began fostering and volunteering for LifeLine in 2017 and quickly became a valuable member of our volunteer community. Her passion passion for helping animals is put to use several days a week and she has logged over 2,000 volunteer hours to date! Jamie gets to know our shelter residents, provides information to help us show off their best attributes, and is heavily involved in helping our placement staff find homes.
According to Fulton County Animal Services (FCAS) Volunteer and Events Coordinator Meera Solomon, Jamie is a hard worker who makes a big impact. “Jamie is a skilled matchmaker, and we really relied on her help in March 2020 with the onset of COVID-19,” says Meera. “She was volunteering long hours right beside us and made a big impact on our ability to send hundreds of dogs out of the shelter so quickly.”
Jamie is also a founding member of the shelter’s Foster Coach team where she provides support and mentorship to newer foster parents. One of them told us that she returns to FCAS again and again because of Jamie. “She knows the dogs so well, answers questions at all hours and is soooo sweet and supportive. Can we give her an award?!?” she said.
Jamie says her skills are a good match for her volunteer activities at LifeLine. “I like being creative and I love animals. I express my creative side by taking pictures and making cute videos and posters to showcase each dog’s personality,” she says. “Some might also say I have the gift of the gab, and by having a good conversation with someone and listening to their hopes and expectations about taking home a pet, you can help make the best matches.”
Jamie’s advice for anyone considering volunteering: “DO IT! If you love animals, that’s all you need. Whether you’re doing laundry, walking dogs, helping at events, filling bags of food for fosters, fostering, driving an animal somewhere…it all makes a difference. The only question to ask yourself is if you want to make a difference.”
Jim is a dedicated and selfless volunteer who has been volunteering with LifeLine for three years and has completed over 700 hours of volunteer service. He began volunteering for LifeLine after losing two 16-year-old dogs to old age. Volunteering served as a good outlet, allowing him to be around dogs on a regular basis.
Always willing to help and being a jack of all trades, Jim does everything from assisting with playgroups and walking dogs, to repairing fences, building dog beds and attending adoption events. And when playgroups started at DeKalb County Animal Services (DCAS), Jim put his database skills to work maintaining the DCAS dog database so everyone would know where and when a dog was relocated. It was a five-day-a-week job that he says is “good and worthwhile!”
According to LifeLine Events Manager Julia Mayfield, Jim is a humble guy who cares deeply about animals. “Jim seeks no recognition for what does,” says Julia. “He is often worried that a dog might be without a bed, so he has taken home and repaired hundreds of shelter beds.” His favorite volunteer activities include walking dogs, forming connections with them and getting to know new dogs. “It’s great to bring dogs out and see them relax, roll around in the grass, or chase a ball. Walking different dogs has really complemented working with and understanding my own dogs,” he says.
Jim adopted two dogs, Butternut and Chip, from DeKalb County Animal Services in 2017 and 2018 respectively. “Chip used to be a very leash-reactive dog, and I’m very proud of how he’s calmed down and is now my easiest to walk thanks to time and consistency,” he says. Jim recommends volunteering to anyone who likes dogs or is thinking of adopting a dog into their family. “It is a fantastic way to get to meet a lot of great dogs, and it’s okay to have favorites!” he says. “Even better, bring your new friend home!”
Teresa began volunteering at LifeLine’s Fulton County Animal Services (FCAS) shelter in early 2016 and quickly became one of the shelter’s most involved volunteers, putting in an estimated 1,500 volunteer hours each year!
She got involved with LifeLine after going through a life-altering experience that gave her a desire to be more present and to do something that would make a difference. Since she is passionate about shelter dogs, she decided to visit FCAS in 2016 and has been volunteering for LifeLine ever since.
Teresa immerses herself in getting to know the dogs and matching them with potential adopters. “The joy experienced when you know it is the right match is so rewarding for all,” she says. She has also mentored many other volunteers, and she helped teach LifeLine’s first matchmaking class in 2018.
In 2019, when the LifeLine Community Animal Center (CAC) opened, Teresa began volunteering at CAC, because it is located only minutes from her home. She continues to volunteer there several days a week, updating various dog databases, taking wonderful photographs, advocating for the dogs and helping them find them their perfect match.
According to CAC Foster Coordinator Ashley Brand, LifeLine is very lucky to have Teresa as one of our amazing volunteers. “Teresa pours her heart into helping our dogs. She is a huge advocate and always willing to help no matter what the task,” says Ashley.
What advice would Teresa give to someone who is thinking about volunteering? “There is no greater joy, for someone who cares about animals, than to volunteer for LifeLine Animal Project,” she says. “There are so many different ways to volunteer and every single minute spent is one minute closer to saving and changing a life. We have such a warm, compassionate and loving LifeLine volunteer community, and we are here to help you get started. If you have the time to help, just start. It’s the best thing I have ever done!”