Pet’s Picks

by Ellie Butterfield

Protecting our Pets

Happy Pets Make Happy People

If you’ve ever sent a puppy or kitten meme, you’ve experienced the natural bond between humans and animals. We’ve long been honing that connection and relationship to better people, from service and support animals to pet therapy.

And we can return the favor. Here are a few local resources that can use your help:

“KonMari” your way to Second Life Thrift Store

Have you been bitten by Marie Kondo’s tidying up bug? You could be improving both your own living space and the lives of neglected pets. Or if you’re looking for an ethical way to acquire items that “spark joy” this summer, turn to Second Life. You’ll find upscale bargains at their two Avondale Estates locations, one clothing store and one furniture store. Plus Second Life hosts foster cats in-store and sweet puppy Riley, the Chief Smile Officer.

Surrounded by pet-themed decoration and sweet angel animals helping you shop, keep your purchases classy and community-based with upscale second hand finds that benefit you and animals in your community.

As a nonprofit, Second Life has dedicated its stores to helping shelters by collecting items for a pet food pantry, educating families on how to be amazing “pet parents” and donating the proceeds from sales to animal rescues and spay and neuter programs.

Calm your fur baby with a ThunderShirt

Whether it’s Independence Day fireworks that last all week or storm season, summer nights in Georgia are often full of pops and booms. These noisy nights can often be stressful and chaotic for pets and their families.

One way to help is the ThunderShirt jacket. It provides gentle, constant pressure similar to swaddling an infant that will calm your dog or cat, With an 80% success rate, you are sure to keep your animals feeling safe and secure (and sure to keep your sleep schedule safe and secure).

Come to the rescue with PAWS Atlanta

PAWS is a no-kill animal shelter committed to protecting the symbiotic relationships between pets and people. When your baby is in need, turn to PAWS for behavioral classes, summer camps for kids, wellness clinics and veterinary services. Its Wags & Walks program offers a group walk where everyone can exercise, enjoy the city, and connect one Saturday a month.

PAWS’ pet adoption and foster services or senior support pet matching assistance also help. When you save animals, they might end up saving you too.

Found injured wildlife? Be aware of AWARE

AWARE Wildlife is a nonprofit that works with the injured and orphaned wild animals living in Georgia. Turn to AWARE if you find a wild animal in need, or volunteer by taking care of animals or working in the AWARE office to spread the word and keep the community involved in the natural world around us. Whether you want to learn and educate on relationships between humans and wildlife or work with animals outside the norms of cats and dogs, AWARE is ready to help you help.

Thank them for their service with Pets for Vets

Pets for Vets is a nonprofit dedicated to helping military veterans recover from PTSD, depression and other lasting emotional damage caused by their time in action through pairing with pets. When veterans and animals get paired together, the powerful bond between the two not only introduces a gentle healing process but provides a way for those in need to rejoin the social world. With pets and people protecting each other, everyone benefits.

Opportunities extend anywhere from serving as a chapter director to parenting foster pups, so anyone is welcome. Help others share the joy, love and safety that come from loving (and being loved) by the furry friends that make a difference.

Meet Cassie
Decatur’s Top Dog

Photographer Leesia Teh partnered with Decatur Living to bring to life our pick of the pets of Decatur for the issue. Cassie claims Jennifer Culley as her human.

How did Cassie come to be part of your family?

Through Adopt a Golden rescue, she was about 10 months old when we adopted her in 2010 (we think she is around 9 yrs old)

What’s her favorite treat?

Walks and meeting new people

How would you describe her personality?

Cassie is an absolute sweetheart, loves everyone she meets (including cats and other dogs)

What’s her favorite “guilty pleasure?”

We’ve sometimes caught Cassie eating food off the counter if not watched carefully

What do you love most about having Cassie in your life? 

She has added so much joy to our life.  She is a good big brother to her kitty sisters (Gus and Ellie who are also adopted).  They take naps and play together.

Cassie epitomizes the saying “who rescued who?!”

Leesia Teh studied photojournalism at the University of Georgia and has been photographing animals for over 12 years. Her work has appeared in various national and international calendars, magazines and books. All (100 percent) of her photography proceeds go to Meow or Never, a local cat rescue she founded in 2017.