Lifeline Animal Project’s safety net fostering program helps people in crisis keep their pets

Photo provided by LifeLine

Atlanta, GA — When LaShondria was evicted from her Atlanta home in February, she was thought she’d have to relinquish her beloved pets, Ben, Nikki and their two puppies, to the animal shelter, because she needed resources and time to find a new home.

However, after talking to a LifeLine Fulton County Animal Services (FCAS) Animal Services Officer, La Shondria learned that the shelter had created a program called Safety Net Fostering that would enable her to keep her pets, according to a press release from LifeLine. Through the program, Lashondria’s dogs were placed in two foster homes for about a month, and they were joyfully reunited with her after she had found a new place to live. LifeLine will also be spaying and neutering Lashondria’s dogs free of charge.

LifeLine’s Safety Net Fostering Program provides pet owners in crisis with temporary housing for their animals, giving them time to get back on their feet without having to give up their pets, a press release says.

“In the past, people would sometimes come in crying because they had to give up their pets due to a hardship,” says FCAS Community Programs Manager Kimble Sorrells. “Through our Safety Net program, people are no longer forced to do that, allowing at least one big stressor to be removed from their lives.”

The program is one way that LifeLine helps to keep the human-animal family together. “People shouldn’t have to give up the pets they love just because they’ve fallen on hard times,” says DCAS Community Programs Manager Tori Pedro. “At LifeLine, we believe it is in everyone’s best interest to keep people and their pets together, and we have a number of programs that do just that.”

According to the press release, after suffering from a stroke, Jane was having trouble physically caring for her large dog, Brutus. So she contacted a community caseworker at LifeLine’s DeKalb County Animal Services shelter who was able to find a Safety Net Foster for Brutus for 30 days, giving Jane time to heal and to create a plan for Brutus’s care when he returned. Jane received regular photos and video updates during her time apart from Brutus and was thrilled when a LifeLine employee brought him home last week.

The individuals who use the program aren’t the only ones who benefit.

“I’m so glad I participated in the Safety Net Foster program,” says Hollie. “It was the perfect opportunity for me to have fun with a furry friend for a short while and help someone keep their dog in the long term. I can’t wait to foster again!”

To apply for help through the Safety Net Fostering program or to volunteer as a foster, please visit LifeLineAnimal.org/safetynet.

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