With one year under its belt as the contracted provider operating Fulton County Animal Services, LifeLine is working to do just that.
“I’m happy to report we’ve about doubled the adoptions and cut the euthanasia rate nearly in half,” said Rebecca Guinn, LifeLine’s founder.
The county’s pet euthanasia rate reached a record low of 25.8 percent in December and the trend has been continuing into 2014, she said.
LifeLine became the manager of Fulton’s animal services March 15, 2013, signing a five-year contract with the county, which costs taxpayers about $2.4 million annually. The organization also took over operations for DeKalb County Animal Services in July.
When starting work in Fulton, Guinn said one of the biggest issues was the shelter’s facility, built in 1978. In the past year, LifeLine oversaw improvements to the facility, including a new roof with skylights in the dog kennel area provided by Fulton County and the addition of a free-roaming cat shelter room made possible through a grant from Purina Cat Chow.
The county also replaced the animal control fleet with new trucks, which was a considerable improvement, Guinn said.
Since March 2013, LifeLine helped the county adopt and release more than 5,400 cats and dogs. Guinn said the organization used innovative adoption promotions, social media and relationships with other animal welfare organizations to achieve that success.
“We want to continue that progress and also keep animals out of the shelter,” she said.
Under LifeLine’s management, the county’s animal services added a full-time animal support specialist to counsel struggling pet owners and help keep them from giving up their pets.
LifeLine also offers affordable spay and neuter services and encourages pet owners to license their animals in efforts to reduce shelter overpopulation.
Oliver Delk, Fulton’s grants and contracts administrator, said LifeLine’s first year has been an improvement in the delivery of animal services.
“Customer service definitely is one of the top priorities for me, and I see that it is also with LifeLine in terms of making sure that the customers receive the service that they need and then taking it a step further in terms of actually giving them advice on how to be responsible pet owners,” he said.
A celebratory event commemorating LifeLine’s one-year anniversary with the county was held Saturday at Fulton’s animal shelter at 860 Marietta Blvd. in Atlanta.
ON THE WEB: For more information on Fulton County Animal Services, visit www.fultonanimalservices.com. For more information about LifeLine Animal Project, visit www.lifelineanimal.org.