Group is lifeline for abandoned, abused animals

Pacino has not had it easy. In his young life, the canine has suffered from severe illnesses and even harsher cases of neglect. His coat is not shiny, his eyes are not bright.

Yet, his tail still wags and his personality remain sweet and friendly. Not long ago, Pacino had been abandoned at an Atlanta-area animal shelter and tagged for euthanasia. But a shelter employee was won over by the animal's friendliness and called LifeLine Animal Project to save the pup from death.

Now, Pacino is on the road to recovery and has hopes for a happy life with a yet-to-be-found adoptive family

"His loving, playful puppy charms will bring a smile to anyone's face and are sure to win him the perfect loving home," said Melissa Foulger, development coordinator for Atlanta-based LifeLine.

Sadly, at the LifeLine facility, Pacino's case is not an exception. Every day, animals are ushered through the center's doors, looking for a better life and a fresh start. And that is precisely what LifeLine hopes to give them.

In the metro area, abandoned pets and feral cats are an increasingly large problem - especially now, during prime breeding season for felines.

"We're just finding litters upon litters of stray cats," said Foulger, who has two dogs and two cats, all of which are shelter animals.

As a nonprofit, no-kill animal shelter, LifeLine works with more than 150 pet rescue groups, humane societies and county animal control shelters to help as many pets as possible. Founded in 2002, the project aims to find new homes for orphaned pets, provide low-cost spay and neuter procedures, and offer assistance for feral and stray cats. The LifeLine Spay and Neuter Clinic provides low-cost sterilization for up to 55 cats and dogs each day, and has performed more than 11,000 surgeries.

"We also give long-term care for homeless cats and dogs with special needs," Foulger said. "The animals at LifeLine are split, between the extreme, special cases, such as Pacino, and the already trained animals that just need a loving home."

The group's Web site, www.atlantapets.org, is the largest pet adoption network in the metro area. Through the site, shelters and rescue groups throughout Atlanta can post adoptable animals to the search database, in hopes that pet-seekers will be matched up with their perfect new pet.

"Our Virtual Animal Shelter is easy to explore and not nearly as noisy as most shelters," Foulger said. "Our goal is to include every adoptable animal in the Atlanta area in our searchable database. LifeLine is a great thing, and we are providing a comprehensive approach and alternative to euthanasia. I think, with some help, we can save these pets."

As a nonprofit group, LifeLine is always in need of volunteers and donations. For more information on the project, call 404-292-8800 or visit www.atlantapets.org.

Hospital to benefit from beauty pageant

The Mr. and Miss Heart of the South Pageant will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Point Church, 1465 Highpoint Road, Snellville. The pageant is a fundraiser for Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. Call 404-245-7870 or 770-381-5285, or visit www.geocities. com/myheartofthesouth.

March of Dimes to invade area radio

Don't touch that dial. On Tuesday morning, 29 area radio stations will donate air time to the March of Dimes. Many on-air personalities will broadcast live from metro area restaurants to interact with customers and listeners and collect donations.

"The general managers of the Atlanta radio stations decided they wanted to do something for March of Dimes on a grand scale," said Brian Ziegler, state director for the March of Dimes Georgia Chapter, in a press release. "Radio hosted March of Dimes' first radiothon in the 1930s, after President Roosevelt requested the nation's help in funding research to find a cure for polio. Today, the March of Dimes needs radio's help as we fight premature birth."

For information on the March of Dimes and to find radio site locations, call 1-866-MOD-BABY or visit www.marchofdimes.com/


Wild night set for senior citizens

Friends of Gwinnett County Senior Services will host A Night in the Wild fundraiser from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday at Delmar Gardens of Gwinnett, 3100 Club Drive, Lawrenceville. The event is open to the public, and all proceeds will benefit the senior citizens of Gwinnett County. Tickets cost $15 in advance and $20 at the door, and include admission to the event, entertainment, food and beverages, a door prize ticket and participation in the silent auction. Call 770-822-8775.

Resident aims to organize cleanup

Snellville resident Nadja Cook is trying to clean up her neighborhood by organizing two roadside trash pick-up days, slated for Wednesday and Aug. 8. Volunteers will be working near Woodlaurel Drive in Snellville. Anyone interested in participating in the cleanup can e-mail Cook at allenadja@comcast.net.

Winder resident receives award

Jena Sims, a 17-year-old student at Winder-Barrow High School in Winder, was recently selected as one of two Nestle Very Best in Youth 2007 honorees. She was chosen from nearly 1,000 nominees. Sims was nominated for the award because of her dedication to cancer research, for which she has raised more than $80,000 through various fundraisers.

The Nestle Very Best In Youth award honors young people between the ages of 10 and 18 who are committed to academic excellence and are devoted to leading a generation of positive change within their communities. Visit www.nestle-verybestinyouth.com.

Meal service adds Duluth location

Good Measure Meals has added a pick-up location at Enhancing Health, 3170 Peachtree Industrial Blvd., suite 185, Duluth. The meal delivery service was established in 2005 by the Atlanta nonprofit group Open Hand.

All proceeds generated by Good Measure Meals support Open Hand's Comprehensive Nutrition Care program, a combination of nutrition therapy, education and balanced, home-delivered meals for people seeking to prevent or manage chronic disease through personal empowerment. Visit www.project


Are you aware of an event or project that benefits our community? Contact Anna Ferguson at 770-963-9205, ext. 1308, or anna.ferguson@gwinnettdailypost.com.