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The Bids Are In: What Type of Animal Control and Services Are Appropriate for Fulton County?

Right now the fate and well being of shelter pets hangs in the balance in Fulton County, GA. Will the County select progressive shelter management to save lives or take us back to the dark ages?

In Fulton County, Georgia, a vote on a new provider for Animal Services is imminent.

WE MUST ACT NOW because the formal contract with the previous provider is over and our animals are in danger.

Are you tired of: Your tax dollars in Fulton County going to the killing of our lost, healthy and adoptable pets? Paying for failure to reunite pets with owners? Mismanagement of funds?

http://www.change.org/petitions/fulton-county-government-select-lifeline-animal-project-to-run-fulton-county-animal-services PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION RIGHT NOW!

Recently, Fulton County reopened the bid for Animal Services. Two organizations answered the request for proposals. One is a progressive, renowned, dedicated, non-profit animal welfare organization, LifeLine Animal Project, and the other is a for-profit company called The Siwel Group, LC, with zero experience in animal welfare that promises a return to the dark ages of disastrous, regressive sheltering with Ron Totten affiliated and as the prospective shelter director.


Lifeline Animal Project has been in existence for over 10 years and a leader in progressive sheltering and spay-neuter initiatives in Atlanta. Rebecca Guinn is the Executive Director of LifeLine and is nationally recognized as an animal welfare hero. Rebecca is has dedicated her life to humane treatment for companion animals. Also skilled as an attorney, she wrote the legislation that ultimately banned the use of gas chambers in Georgia shelters.

The community must speak up now and demand that the Fulton County Commissioners select Lifeline, the provider that will work toward the goal of saving all healthy and treatable animals and servicing all County animal welfare needs.

REASONS to insist the Commissioners select LifeLine:

  • LifeLine has 10 years of experience in humane sheltering in the Atlanta area.

  • LifeLine already performs veterinary services under a contract with DeKalb County Animal Services.

  • Executive Director Rebecca Guinn was recently honored by DeKalb County CEO W. Burrell Ellis, Jr. for a decade of work in animal advocacy and rescue when May 17 was proclaimed“Rebecca Guinn Day”in DeKalb County.

  • LifeLine is an expert at improving municipal animal shelters, and counties such as Douglas have hired LifeLine to perform shelter evaluations.

  • LifeLine has partnered with DeKalb County to drastically lower the euthanasia rate for cats.

  • LifeLine’s non-profit status allows it to collect tax-deductible donations and grants and attract volunteers.

  • LifeLine has already successfully procured and managed millions of dollars in grants and donations.

  • LifeLine has an impressive board of directors, including public servants and a Zoo Atlanta director.

  • LifeLine operates two low-cost spay/neuter clinics in DeKalb and Fulton and has performed over 65,000 surgeries.

  • LifeLine has the track record, personnel and resources to accomplish our animal welfare goals.

REASONS why are our animals are in danger with the other bidder, The Siwel Group LC:

  • Siwel is a for-profit company with zero background in animal welfare affiliated with Ron Totten.
  • In 2003, Ron Totten left FCAS in disgrace after the community became aware of his record of killing over 80% of the pets in his care and other deplorable conditions during his tenure as shelter director.
  • Totten made an unsuccessful bid to takeover the shelter in 2003 when he used a shill for-profit company, Synergy Management Systems, LLC, to try to get back into power. Synergy had only a Mailboxes Etc. address and was organized by a cosmetologist friend of Totten.
  • Totten’s company was actually recommended as the FCAS vendor in 2003, allegedly due to cronyism and back door politics.
  • Ron Totten was quoted in Atlanta Magazine discussing euthanasia performed “30 times a day” under his “care” and “brightened” over the prospect of getting his own incinerator to cremate the pets at the shelter instead of transporting them to landfills.
  • Totten’s entire adoption strategy consisted of picking a few puppies out and calling Atlanta Humane Society to see if they might want them. The rest were killed. When asked how he determined whose lives he would spare from the mass euthanasia he performed daily, he said, “I don’t know how to describe it. I guess you would call it ‘cuteness.’”
  • Under Ron Totten’s leadership, the vast majority of all animals (over 80%) were systematically killed after only 3 days without ever being put up for adoption! The public was literally not allowed into the shelter to even adopt an animal. 
  • When Totten, using Synergy, bid to run FCAS in 2003, he proposed reducing staff, cutting training programs, halving the hours the shelter was open to the public for adoptions, and killing pets prior to the expiration of their County-mandated minimum hold time if it suited him.
  • Totten holds no professional or college degrees and hasn’t worked in animal welfare since 2003, but instead has been working at a tax return preparation company.
  • Totten has a history of proposing to eliminate services and simply catching and killing the majority of our lost pets.
  • Siwel is a FOR-PROFIT organization and intends to profit off of the homeless and neglected pets of our city.
  • A For Profit will lose opportunities for more funding via donations/grants = loss of more services

Our voiceless animals deserve this chance to have a humane progressive shelter, in our world class city, instead of a disgrace. Zachary Williams, outgoing County Manager, and the Commissioners have stated they wanted to award the contract to a more humane organization, but selecting Siwel will be a return to an inhumane debacle just as when Ron Totten was in charge ten years ago.

100′s of communities across the country now have modern life affirming shelters. A movie will be released in March regarding this successful type of modern shelter that LifeLine can provide. Atlanta needs to move forward not backwards and choose the only obvious competent provider, LifeLine.

PLEASE share, call and write the decision makers and Commissioners immediately.

You can forward this letter and/or use suggested emails and phone scripts.

Remind them that you are a taxpayer and that YOU DO VOTE. 

The meetings of the Commissioners are held in the Assembly Hall on the ground floor of the Fulton County Government Center, 141 Pryor Street


Interim County Manager, R. David Ware, 404-612-0246,

Department of Purchasing & Contract Compliance:
Felicia Strong-Whitaker, Interim Director, 404-612-7981/4204,
Charles Leonard, Chief Purchasing Agent, 404-612-5823,


Department of Planning & Community Services:
Randy Beck, Director, 404-612-8053, Randy.Beck@fultoncountyga.gov
Tony Phillips, Assistant Director, 404-612-5347, Tony.Phillips@fultoncountga.gov


John H. Eaves, PH.D., Chairman, District 1 (at large),
john.eaves@fultoncountyga.gov, 404-612-8206
Robb Pitts, District 2 (at large), robb.pitts@fultoncountyga.gov, 404-612-8210
Liz Hausmann, District 3, liz.hausmann@fultoncountyga.gov, 404-612-8213
Tom Lowe, District 4, tom.lowe@fultoncountyga.gov, 404-612-8218
Emma I. Darnell, Commission Vice Chair, District 5,
emma.darnell@fultoncountyga.gov, 404-612-8222
Joan P. Garner, District 6, joan.garner@fultoncountyga.gov

, 404-612-8226
William “Bill” Edwards, District 7,
commissioner.edwards@fultoncountyga.gov, 404-612-8230

You can also contact members of the PRESS who have been reporting on Fulton County Animal Services:

Randy Travis randy.travis@foxtv.com

David Wickert dwickert@ajc.com

Visit www.petadvocatesnetwork.org for more information and the latest updates.

* Artwork generously contributed by anactofdog.org – dedicated to saving the lives of all shelter pets.

Update: *Video* Alison Hector At Fulton Commissioners Meeting 1/9/2013 -

Watch Alison Hector,Esq. inform the Commissioners about this petition and why LifeLine is the only competent choice to gain the bid for animal services.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Alison Hector January 13, 2013 at 05:32 PM
Be Forewarned – A FOR PROFIT company like Siwel has one incentive – to make money and not the welfare of our pets. They could decide it is more profitable to sell our pets bodies to labs instead of trying to find the owners or rehoming them!http://petadvocatesnetwork.org/wordpress/2013/01/06/animal-lovers-urgent-action-needed/
Alison Hector January 13, 2013 at 06:38 PM
EXTREMELY URGENT! County IS Trying to Disqualify LifeLine to the Commission by Pet Advocates Network January 9th 2013 Commissioners Meeting Animal Control Update http://tinyclip.tv/331ea72e Video Clip of Animal Control Update Why is the County trying to disqualify LifeLine and promote a clearly substandard option?? An informal recommendation was made and from the comments at the meeting it obviously WASN'T LifeLine since apparently a memo was disseminated to the Commissioners on January 4th by the selection committee that had some *issue* with LifeLine. Acting County Manager, David Ware who is also the County Attorney, is making up excuses to disqualify LifeLine and bring in Totten or take AC inhouse! NOTE: This is like the movie “Groundhog Day”.10 years ago the County wanted Ron Totten and tried to disqualify Southern Hope using the same types of contrived “issues” to justify it. Luckily the Commissioners heard from many citizens on the matter and didn't buy it. The Commissioners want to hear from you and are listening! Keep the emails and phone calls going to them. In fact one of the Commissioners used a quote from us about making Atlanta's shelter a world class facility!
Susan Kellett Gue January 14, 2013 at 09:20 PM
Absolutely ridiculous. They're saying if someone contacts government officials supporting one of the bidders, the bidder is disqualified. I'm not in Fulton - who is the red haired woman who actually makes the only sense of the entire video? I want to send her a thank you. :)
Alison Hector January 15, 2013 at 02:17 AM
Hi Susan. Her name is Liz Hausmann and I am very impressed by her! I am sure she would love to hear from you. http://www.fultoncountyga.gov/fcdistrict3


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