Reports From This Organization

LifeLine Animal Project: Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

The $1,000 grant was used to cover the tuition cost for Jabari Gadsden, a LifeLine Animal Project team member at the DeKalb County shelter, to attend the Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship Program in late May.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

This grant has greatly affected our organization in terms of opening the eyes of many to the benefits of playgroup, both for the dogs and ourselves. It has built a lot of confidence and skill when it comes to handling dogs for both staff and volunteers learning from and using the techniques shown during DPFL. The pets in our care have been more manageable, more presentable to adopters both in the kennel and play yards, and their overall quality of life seems to have improved.

How many pets did this grant help?

250 to date. Jabari participates in weekly puppy-room playgroups, which have approximately 20 dogs in them, and there have been roughly 12 weeks since his mentorship.

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Playgroups change lives. Two of our dogs, Billy and Cho, have been specifically impacted by the Dogs Playing for Life program. Billy (pictured lying down) is an easygoing, lovely dog who enjoys the company of other dogs. His favorite thing is going into a playgroup and rolling around on his back, inviting other dogs to come over and say hello. When a dog will roll on its back next to him, he is in heaven. Because of his continual attendance at playgroups, he stayed very social even though he was at the shelter for an extended period of time. He was so social that he could be used to help dogs like Cho (second photo), who had a harder time being incorporated into groups.

Cho has barrier reactivity, not because she wants other dogs to move away, but because she wants them to play. Cho wants to play with other dogs so badly and has no impulse control, so playgroups are teaching her better manners! Cho goes into playgroups so that other dogs can teach her what is appropriate and what is not, and through this play therapy, she is becoming more adoptable with every session. Billy has found his forever home, and Cho is on her way to being highly adoptable due to the power of DPFL!

LifeLine Animal Project - Fulton County Animal Services: Technology Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

This funding was used to supply LifeLine Animal Project’s field officers at the Fulton County shelter with basic equipment to help them build animal cruelty cases, including: digital still cameras, infrared thermometers, GoPro video cameras, universal chip scanners and an evidence hard drive.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

After bringing the Fulton County Animal Shelter to the no-kill threshold in late 2015, one of LifeLine Animal Project’s next big priorities – in conjunction with maintaining the no-kill status – is to more successfully combat animal cruelty in Metro Atlanta. Now, armed with enhanced equipment made possible through this grant, LifeLine’s field services officers are able to build stronger cases in hopes of bringing stiffer penalties for cruelty perpetrators — and, ultimately, send the message to the community at large that animal cruelty comes with significant consequences.

How many pets did this grant help?

This equipment will help hundreds of pets a year for as long as it survives such regular use.

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

A concerned neighbor called Fulton County Animal Services to report a tethered dog who appeared to have a “cut around the neck” in mid-March 2016. When LifeLine’s field officer arrived at the scene that afternoon, he found 4-year-old shepherd mix “Sunshine” on an embedded chain. The dog was confiscated, and the owner was cited for animal cruelty and no license.

With equipment made possible by this Petfinder Foundation Purina Technology Grant, the officer took pictures of Sunshine’s injuries just prior to LifeLine’s veterinarian performing surgery that afternoon.

The field officer presented this case in court a few weeks later, and the owner was found guilty of animal cruelty. The judge looked very carefully over the photographs of Sunshine and held up the chain that was removed from her neck, and, addressing the defendant, said: “This is the stuff nightmares are made of.” The county-assigned solicitor recommended a minor fine (per the usual), but the judge disagreed and told the owner that he was imposing the maximum fines for both the cruelty violation and the license violation and ordered him taken into custody to serve 60 days in jail.

The courtroom was stunned, as were the officers in court, who present these kinds of cases every month. Animal cruelty convictions and stiff penalties have been a challenge to come by in Fulton County, historically. Now, fully equipped to tell these terrible stories more clearly, LifeLine Animal Project is intent on changing that.

As for Sunshine, she left the shelter with a New York City rescue group on March 24! (The final photo included below is her just before getting into the van to leave.)