Partnership in Atlanta

Contrary to what many believe, not all animal shelters are the same. While most animal welfare facilities share the same goals, there are important distinctions that every animal-loving citizen should know about. Here’s how the Atlanta Humane Society is different from animal control facilities and other local rescue organizations.

The Atlanta Humane Society (AHS) is a nonprofit organization generously funded by private citizens, corporate sponsors, and grants. Animal control facilities are at least partially funded by a city or county municipality and some receive supplementary private funding as well. Each animal control facility’s responsibilities and funding differ from municipality to municipality, but since AHS is in Fulton County, for the rest of the article we will focus on the specific differences between AHS and the Fulton County Animal Services facility run by Lifeline Animal Project.

Fulton County Animal Services (FCAS) is considered an open admissions shelter; and this means that they are contracted by the county to take in all found or stray animals. In fact, in Fulton County, all found and stray animals must be brought to FCAS to best ensure that they have the best possible opportunity to reconnect with their families. This means AHS isn’t allowed to take in stray animals, and our Admissions staff will direct all finders of stray animals to our friends at FCAS.

The Atlanta Humane Society is considered a limited intake facility, which means we take animals in from owners who wish to surrender their pets as well as from other shelters and rescue groups who need our assistance. It also means we may suggest alternative solutions if we think our shelter is not the best option for an individual animal.

If there are community or feral cats living in your neighborhood, FCAS has a TNR (trap-neuter-release) program to help get them altered and vaccinated. This program is perfect for helping animals that live and procreate near populated areas but aren’t tame enough to live a domesticated life inside a home. Altering stray cats helps reduce pet homelessness in the future and the vaccinations prevent the spread of dangerous diseases, which in turn protects the owned cat population as well!

When the time comes to make a difficult decision concerning what’s best for your furry family member, AHS provides low cost euthanasia services. This means our staff are there to help talk you through the decision beforehand if you need it, and we can connect you with a cremation service afterward, as well as performing the procedure with all the care and respect your loved one deserves.

With all those differences, we have one very important thing in common – we both exist to help animals! Both organizations offer low cost spay-neuter and vaccination programs, both are wonderful places to spend time as a volunteer or foster parent, and of course, both are full of wonderful loving animals just waiting to find the perfect home!

To learn more about Fulton County Animal Services and LifeLine Animal Project, visit or visiting them at 860 Marietta Blvd.

You can also learn more about Atlanta Humane Society by browsing our website or visiting our Campuses at 981 Howell Mill Road NW in Atlanta and 1565 Mansell Road in Alpharetta.


By: Alison Dowdle, Animal Admissions Specialist at the Atlanta Humane Society