Debbie Setzer, community outreach director for LifeLine animal shelter, checks on a pit shepherd mix named Mink at the group’s spay and neuter clinic in College Park Tuesday. A supporter of the clinic has offered to match $25,000 in donations made to LifeLine by Dec. 31.
COLLEGE PARK A cosmetics executive is making a big pitch to metro Atlanta residents in an effort to build financial support for an animal shelter which is looking to extend its efforts to Clayton County in the new year.
Anisa Telwar, founder of Buckhead-based Anisa International, has offered to match every dollar animal supporters donate to LifeLine Animal Project — up to $25,000 — before Dec. 31. LifeLine will receive at least $50,000 to fund its programs if residents give at least the maximum amount Telwar has pledged to match, the executive said.
The animal group has been around for more than a decade and operates a no-kill shelter in Avondale Estates and a spay and neuter clinic in College Park.
“We’ve had a good year so we said ‘We can do $25,000 so lets put it out there for December and hopefully make it a little easier for LifeLine as they move into the new year,’ ” Telwar said.
That money will come in handy as LifeLine looks to branch out into the Southern Crescent in 2013. LifeLine Community Outreach Director Debbie Setzer said the group wants to set up partnerships with Clayton County Animal Control and the Clayton County Humane Society in the new year to help get more shelter animals in the county adopted.
“I know there are not a lot of resources in Clayton County and because of our location, it’s taken us a little bit of time to get all of our programs in place down here,” Setzer said. “We’re definitely looking at doing some transports and we also do these pet wellness days [which could come to Clayton County].”
LifeLine’s programs include pet rehabilitation, rescue efforts, high-volume adoptions, animal education programs, training programs that ultimately pair pets with veterans, vaccinations and health testing, Setzer said.
The group saves around 500 animals per year from being euthanized at animal control shelters in Fulton and DeKalb counties, Setzer said. LifeLine has also spayed and neutered more than 55,000 cats and dogs since it was founded, she added. That includes nearly 10,000 animals in 2012, Setzer said.
It typically has between 100 and 140 animals in its shelter, she added.
“We begin by offering low-cost services and just trying to work with our county animal controls to help spay and neuter pets they are adopting out,” Setzer said. “We now partner with both national groups like the Humane Society of the United States, but we also do a lot of work with local groups.”
The number of dollars donated to LifeLine so far was not immediately available this week.
Telwar said she gives 10 percent of her company’s net profits to LifeLine and Families First every month. She said she grew particularly fond of LifeLine’s efforts after she received a pit bull puppy as a gift 10 years ago. As she researched pit bulls to learn how to take care of them, she learned about some of the challenges they face including dog fighting rings, she said.
“As I started to become aware of animal welfare, I started to become more vocal about it and that’s when I was introduced to the founder of LifeLine, Rebecca Guinn,” Telwar said. “I was really impressed because she is a lawyer, very articulate, very calm.”
That support has been important to LifeLine, Telwar and Setzer said, because it is like many other animal shelters in terms of funding issues. These shelters do not receive government funding so their ability to remain open depends on the generosity of the general public through financial donations and other contributions including pet food and shelter supplies donations.
“I know for a fact, Anisa’s support has been crucial to us,” Setzer said.
Donations to LifeLine can be made online at www.LifeLineAnimal.org or by mailing checks to P.O. Box 15466, Atlanta, Ga. 30333.