Animal support group seeks assistance
By John Dilmore
The Atlanta Animal League (AAL) is always on the lookout for homeless pets in need of assistance. But at the moment, what they most need are people.
The group is looking for volunteers to assist with a number of tasks, ranging from fostering homeless dogs to serving on the group’s board and even offering technical assistance to their efforts online.
Perhaps most of all, the group is seeking donations to help feed and otherwise support dogs in local fostering situations, while also searching for permanent homes for the pets.
Jamie Sharry, the group’s vice president, described a group in the process of rebuilding.
“The Atlanta Animal League has been around for about eight years, but it has completely changed hands,” Sharry said. “We are looking at getting a new committee together.”
The efforts of the 501 c3 nonprofit organization are varied – for instance the group held a successful fundraiser at Newkirk’s Feed in Atlanta over the weekend. All are aimed at assisting the animals.
“Every donation that comes in goes to either feed, or vet care for the dogs,” Sharry said. “We take in dogs or cats – right now we don’t have fosters for cats.”
Sharry said there’s no financial outlay for those interested in fostering a pet. “We pay for their food, and we pay for their vet care,” she said. “You just keep them and play with them and socialize them, pretty much.
“After they’ve been in a foster home for six months … if you want to keep them, you can keep them and then they’re no longer part of the league. A lot of times, people will keep them for six months or longer and we’ll finally have somebody come and get interested, and then we’ll adopt them out.”
AAL attempts to get pets that wind up in the city shelter into fostering situations. There’s only a three-day hold on them before they could be euthanized, Sharry said. The local animal control officer gets the word out, working with AAL, to attempt to find pets’ owners.
But if fostering becomes an animal’s only hope, it depends on the availability of funds to help with care, and a person willing to foster.
“We have six different foster homes that are all volunteer,” Sharry said. “They take the dogs in. We usually try to give them kennels for outside, for when they have to leave -- which we are actually low on. We’re low on funds, we’re low on donations. We’re just trying to get some awareness out there.”
Sharry said the organization pretty much “started back from scratch” around Thanksgiving, but is looking to grow, perhaps expanding its efforts beyond Atlanta and into the county as funding and volunteers allow.
Those interested in contacting AAL can find “Atlanta Animal League” on Facebook, and donations can also be made securely through a PayPal link on the Facebook page.
The group can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org, and their mailing address is P.O. Box 451, Atlanta, TX 75551. The key thing is for those interested in volunteering, fostering, adopting or donating is to get in touch, Sharry said.
“We need fosters something fierce,” she added.