As evictions loom, LifeLine expects surge of abandoned pets at its shelters

Photo provided by LifeLine

DeKalb County, GA — LIfeLine Animal Project anticipates a surge of pets winding up in its shelters due to evictions of people who are unable to pay their rent or mortgages.

“According to the Census Bureau, in the next 30-90 days, an estimated 8 million pets could lose their homes because of evictions nationwide, and more than 400,000 households in metro Atlanta are behind on rent,” LifeLine said in a press release. “While the CDC’s moratorium on evictions through October provides protection to some, it only applies to areas with high COVID transmission rates, and local courts have discretion as to whether eviction hearings can proceed.”

The shelter currently is full and taking in 50 animals per day, according to a spokesperson for the organization.

LifeLine hopes to free up some space by waiving fees on all pets from Friday, Aug.13 to Sunday, Aug. 15.

“All pets at LifeLine’s three shelters may be adopted for no charge and will be vaccinated, spayed/neutered and microchipped,” the spokesperson said.

Here’s the full announcement from LifeLine:

As LifeLine Animal Project’s Fulton and DeKalb County Animal Services shelters take in up to 50 animals daily this summer, looming evictions threaten to bring an unprecedented surge of dogs and cats to the shelters. To encourage adoptions, the organization has put out an urgent plea and is waiving fees on all pets from Friday, August 13 to Sunday, August 15.  All pets at LifeLine’s three shelters may be adopted for no charge and will be vaccinated, spayed/neutered and microchipped.

According to the Census Bureau, in the next 30-90 days, an estimated 8 million pets could lose their homes because of evictions nationwide, and more than 400,000 households in metro Atlanta are behind on rent.  While the CDC’s moratorium on evictions through October provides protection to some, it only applies to areas with high COVID transmission rates, and local courts have discretion as to whether eviction hearings can proceed.   

DeKalb County Animal Services Shelter Director Kerry Moyers-Horton says that the eviction crisis could be catastrophic for LifeLine’s already full shelters. “When people lose their homes, pets end up in shelters,” she says. “Since our shelters are full, we have nowhere left to put these animals.  Please consider adopting a new pet to help keep Atlanta’s animals safe.”

Fulton County Animal Services Shelter Director Lara Hudson adds that community support makes all the difference.  “We cannot save all of the animals in our care without the community’s help. If you adopt or foster today, you are truly saving a life,” says Hudson.

All of LifeLine’s shelters are participating in fee-waived adoptions, including Fulton County Animal Services, 860 Marietta Blvd NW, Atlanta; DeKalb County Animal Services, 3280 Chamblee Dunwoody Rd, Chamblee; and the LifeLine Community Animal Center, 3180 Presidential Drive, Atlanta. To view animals available for adoption, for directions to the shelter and for shelter hours, please visit LifeLineAnimal.org.

LifeLine is asking people who cannot adopt or foster but who still want to help to donate or help spread the word by sharing LifeLine’s social media posts on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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