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Van Stolen from Animal Rescue Group Still Missing

Community steps in to help after LifeLine Animal Project's cat transport van, full of pet food and supplies, was stolen a week ago in East Point.

On any given day at LifeLine Animal Project in Avondale Estates, there are a dozen things happening at once.

There are spay/neuter surgeries being performed at their low-cost public clinic.

Volunteers will be walking rescued dogs from LifeLine's no-kill Dog House and helping clean the Kitty Motel, a cage-free area that houses dozens of homeless cats.

 Frogs To Dogs training might be in residence, because any rescued dog that is at LifeLine for a length of time receives basic obedience training in preparation for being adopted.

The phone is constantly ringing with people calling for spay/neuter appointments, inquiring about LifeLine's monthly Pet Wellness days, looking for lost pets that might have made their way to the shelter, or seeking counsel on the best kind of pet to adopt for their family. 

Staff members are often out in the metro area rescuing animals in danger of being euthanized at shelters, or helping pets rescued from hoarders or dog-fighting rings in addition to caring for the over 100 homeless pets that call LifeLine home.

LifeLine is usually a hive of activity, but one area where they were always busy has been slowed. Their community outreach and ability to help cats and pet owners in need took a hit last week when their cat transport van was stolen overnight March 17 in East Point.

The van was filled with a week's worth of cat food for the rescued cats at their shelter and for managed feral cat colonies in the community. Also lost in the theft were blankets, bowls, pet crates, dog treats and medical and adoption records.

The van has not been spotted or found as of this writing, according to staff member Mickie Blair, who spoke to East Point police again on Thursday. The rescue is struggling to figure out how to continue without it for the time being.

Luckily the community has stepped up to help the pets that LifeLine rescues and lend aid where it can.

Girl Scout troop No. 24880 and Brownie troop No. 9585 have both donated goods and money to help LifeLine bridge the gap between what they lost and what the homeless dogs and cats need on a daily basis.

Pet owners and animal lovers in the community have stopped by with bags of dog and cat food, kitty litter and pet supplies.

"Many people have jumped in with supplies and donations and we are so grateful. We couldn't get through a loss like this without such caring supporters," said Cynthia McGuinness, LifeLine's development director.

The rescue is raising money and hope to find a good deal on a solid vehicle. They also hold out hope that their van will be found intact or perhaps someone will step up and donate a van for their use in helping pets and people in the community. The van was stolen the same night Blair had delivered food and supplies to an elderly cat owner who had just had brain surgery.

"If anyone would like to donate a van, please contact us," McGuinness said, "It would be put to good use immediately to get kitties to the vet or to adoption events where they can find their forever home. Plus, it would be a tax deductible contribution to a non-profit, which would help on your tax return when April 15 rolls around again next year."

If you would like to help LifeLine, please contact info@lifelineanimal.org or call them at 404-292.8800.

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