Adopting a pet is a big decision and many people count it as one of more pleasant and rewarding ways to enhance their lives and bring unconditional love into their home.
But where to start?
First off, reach around and pat yourself on the back if you've decided to adopt a homeless pet. Statistics peg the euthanasia rate in the Atlanta metro area at 60,000- 80,000 dogs and cats annually, one of the highest rates of any U.S. city. These dogs, cats, puppies and kittens are almost all put to death for one reason and one reason only: they don't have a home.
The simple act of adopting a pet makes you a life saver. And don't worry if you have a specific breed you prefer over another. Twenty-five percent of all pets in shelters are purebreds. Also, there are breed-specific rescues all over the Southeast for both dogs and cats.
But whether it's a Maltese or a mutt you desire, whether you prefer Ragdoll cats or a tabby, you can find one for adoption and you can do it online or in person.
LifeLine Animal Project, located in Avondale Estates, has a "virtual shelter" on their website, featuring cats and dogs from their Kitty Motel and Dog House. The online "shelter" also includes hundreds of pets from other local shelters, rescues and humane societies.
In addition, LifeLine has ongoing weekend adoption events around town.
On Saturdays you can find them in Atlanta at the PetCo in Edgewood Shopping Center at 127 Caroline Street, NE. They are there from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. and you can meet adoptable dogs and puppies and learn about LifeLine's many community programs and low cost services for pet owners.
Their cat adoptions take place on Saturdays and Sundays in Lawrenceville at PetSmart, located at 875 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road. From 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., you can meet and mingle with cats and kittens, and learn more about LifeLine's programs that are feline-focused.
Perhaps you don't want to or can't adopt a pet right now but still want to help animals in need. Volunteers are always appreciated to help with cats and cat adoptions. If you have a few hours to spare to help a homeless pet, please contact mblair@LifeLineAnimal.org. If you want to volunteer with the dogs, send a note to volunteer@LifeLineAnimal.org.