By Therra Gwyn-Jaramillo
Some pet owners in Cobb County are getting free spay and neuter for their dogs and cats, vaccinations and more courtesy of PAWSitive Supporters and Second Life, two metro area non-profits.
Fran Jackson, founder and president, formed PAWsitive Supporters in 2014 after being inspired by cancer patient Mardi Wolfson, a fellow animal lover that Jackson met while volunteering for the American Cancer Society. The day they met, and at Wolfson’s urging, they rescued a dog they found tied to a tree.
“After putting the dog in the car, I thought what am I going to do with it?” says Jackson, “I didn’t have room at my house.”
She called a friend from a rescue group for advice. Her friend picked up the dog and found it a home but not after naming the happy-to-be-rescued pup “Mardi.”
Wolfson eventually succumbed to brain cancer, dying two years after she and Jackson met. Her estate donated start-up funds for Jackson to continue helping the animals she knew Mardi loved.
PAWsitive grew slowly and steadily, both as a support system for Cobb County Animal Control shelter pets and in protecting and aiding other pets in the county.
PAWSitive started receiving grants from Second Life Atlanta, a non-profit that opened two upscale thrift stores in Avondale Estates five years ago. The shops operate solely to benefit animal charities. With help from the quarterly grants, Jackson has been able to offer support for pet owners at The Villages at Six Flags in Austell, a mobile home community in dire need of services for the dogs and cats that belong to the residents. PAWSitive offered free spay and neuter, rabies shots, microchipping, deworming and nail clipping for the pets at the park.
“We’ve been going there for two years now and have helped 240 pets,” explains Jackson.
Residents can sign up so their pets can receive a spay or neuter and a health check, vaccinations and related services from LifeLine Animal Project in College Park. LifeLine operates two low-cost clinics and is the organization that heads up both Fulton and DeKalb County Animal Services. In recent years LifeLine has been responsible for higher adoption numbers and plummeting euthanasia rates in both shelters.
Resident’s pets are picked up by LifeLine’s transport van, taken to the clinic and returned the same day. Each pet that is helped costs PAWSitive about $100 total and is financed through the monies donated from Second Life, raised through their two stores.
“We opened the stores because our passion is to help homeless pets have a better future,” says Tanya Tobias who co-founded Second Life with husband Toby. The couple was also inspired to do good by someone they knew and loved – their rescued Dalmatian, Lucky.
“We wanted to help the wonderful animal organizations that make a difference in pet’s and peoples lives,” Tobias says.
“It’s fabulous what they do,” states Jackson, “Just fabulous.”
Donations to help Cobb’s pets can be made to PAWSitive Supporters through PayPal on their Facebook page or at their website, PAWsitiveSupporters.com.
Second Life accepts donations of gently used clothing, home goods, furniture, toys, pet items, books and more. See and support their mission and the charities they help at SecondLifeAtlanta.org.