DeKalb County Animal Services has two divisions: Shelter Services and Enforcement Services.

The Animal Services Division is managed by LifeLine Animal Project, a non-profit organization whose programs strengthen the entire animal welfare community by promoting homeless pet adoption, providing affordable spay/neuter services, increasing public awareness, and advocating for lifesaving public policy. The animal services division provides humane care for the animals at the shelter, veterinary care including spay/neuters, pet adoptions, animal reclaims, volunteers, foster homes and rescue group coordination.

The Enforcement Services Division remains county-operated under the DeKalb County Public Safety umbrella. This division enforces local and state laws regarding animals including handling complaints about animals and their care, rabies control, vicious and dangerous animals, and cruelty or neglect of animals. Animal Enforcement Officers regularly participate in community outreach and public education initiatives by participating in neighborhood meetings, school events, and various county-wide events.


About LifeLine Animal Project

Founded in 2002, LifeLine Animal Project (LifeLine) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Atlanta, Georgia. LifeLine is working to end the euthanasia of healthy and treatable dogs and cats in metro Atlanta shelters and is the managing organization of Fulton County Animal Services and the DeKalb County Animal Services shelter. LifeLine is already making tremendous and measurable progress at both county facilities, having lowered the euthanasia rate at each by over 50% in a short period of time. Over 16,000 animals were adopted, rescued, or returned to their owners from the Fulton and DeKalb shelters in 2018!

From the very beginning, LifeLine has worked to assess the needs of Atlanta’s animal welfare community and provide innovative, strategic resources in support of its mission to end shelter euthanasia of homeless animals. Rather than reinforce traditional models of animal control and sheltering, which historically have not served the animals well, LifeLine has focused on community-driven approaches to neighborhood reinvestment and public safety through programs designed to increase both human and animal welfare.

LifeLine has run its own private shelter in Avondale Estates, GA since 2003, focusing primarily on animals who have been victims of abuse or neglect, and seeing approximately 500 dogs and cats come through its doors each year. At the LifeLine Spay & Neuter Clinics (one in College Park and one formerly in Avondale Estates, now at the LifeLine Community Animal Center), LifeLine has fixed over 125,000 dogs and cats at low or no cost to owners who, in many cases, would not have been able to prioritize the expense. Through its volunteer-driven trap-neuter-return Community Cat program, the lives of over 30,000 feral and community cats have been saved. Further, at LifeLine community pet wellness days each year, thousands of underserved pet owners receive free vaccinations and other much-needed resources.

LifeLine recently said good-bye to its original location in Avondale Estates in 2019 and opened the LifeLine Community Animal Center in Atlanta, GA. The Community Animal Center is an adoption destination and a state-of-the-art, full-service, affordable veterinary clinic — offering affordable care from minor surgery and dental work to x-rays and diagnostics. There are many areas in Atlanta that have little access to low- or no-cost vet care. By offering affordable, proactive wellness care, we can prevent many more animals from being unnecessarily surrendered or abandoned.

LifeLine is actively on its way to making its ultimate goal a reality: transforming metro Atlanta into a no-kill community that prioritizes saving the lives of its homeless pets.

View our 2020 impact infographic.


Our Cause, Our Community

Throughout the United States, select communities have reduced the number of animals being euthanized in their shelters to less than 10% by making a fundamental shift toward lifesaving. LifeLine firmly believes that Atlanta can and should be one of these cities and is committed to making that vision a reality by aggressively promoting homeless pet adoption, providing affordable spay/neuter services, increasing public awareness, and advocating for lifesaving public policy. LifeLine is transforming a city with a troubled animal welfare legacy into a compassionate community deeply rooted in a culture of lifesaving that will create a model to be emulated nationwide.