Atlanta Pet Life Spring 2020

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Spring 2020 Issue 155


Atlanta’s Pet Lifestyle Magazine

ANIMAL ATTRACTIONS What’s new at the Georgia Aquarium and Zoo Atlanta CANINE ASSISTANTS

Dogs that can change the world


Festival focuses on family-friendly activities

Come play with us!

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CONTENTS On the Cover

Spring 2020 Issue 155


Animal Attractions

Atlanta’s Pet Lifestyle Magazine

ANIMAL ATTRACTIONS What’s new at the Georgia Aquarium and Zoo Atlanta CANINE ASSISTANTS

Dogs that can change the world



Festival focuses on family-friendly activities

Pet Life Movers & Shakers


Social Influence

Sir Macson Cheese Service dog becomes social media hit



12 14

Rescue Hero





Rescue Takes Flight Papayago Rescue House provides care, support for pet birds

Rescue Hero

Meeting the Need Meals on Wheels Atlanta creates pet pantry

From sharks to southern white rhinos, here’s what’s new at the Georgia Aquarium and Zoo Atlanta

Pet Life Entertainment

16 18

Rescue Hero

Rescue Dog Games Festival focuses on familyfriendly activities

20 14


Pet Life Experts

Spotlight Dog Park

30 32 34

Woofstock Dog Park Former apartments become Woodstock’s first dog park


Pet Therapy

Canine Assistants Dogs that can change the world Pet-Friendly Places

Where Ryan Roams Follow an Atlanta Humane Society rescue on her adventures through pet-friendly ATL

Spring Calendar of Pet Events

Support animal welfare from Love for the Paws Gala, Run for the Rescues, and dog and cat shows.



Catology 101

The Great Debate Should cats be indoors or outdoors? Veterinary Profile

Dr. Matt Miller Highs and lows of the mobile vet life Animal Law

What will the newly passed federal anti-cruelty law actually mean?

PaWty Animals

Whiskey Blue, Hooray for Hollywood Gala, Costumes on the Woof, Reindog Parade Spring 2020 | Atlanta Pet Life 5

Atlanta’s Pet Lifestyle Magazine Spring 2020 | Issue 16 P.O. Box 11633, Atlanta, GA 30355 For Advertising Rates Call 404-538-9895


Joanne Hayes


Lisa R. Schoolcraft

Creative Director Andi Counts

Account Executives E. Vincent Martinez Jill Waddell

Website Development Management BHG Digital

Director of Audience Development Mike Jose

Copy Editor H.M. Cauley

Contributing Writers Jill Becker Sandra Bolen Beth Reese Cravey Mickey Goodman Tonya Layman Nicole Letts Sparrow Marcioni Laura J. Moss Kathi Welch Claudine Wilkins

Photography Amber Corbi

March, 2020–May, 2020, Vol. 5, No. 16 Atlanta Pet Life Send your comments, questions or concerns to Submissions chosen for publication may be edited for length or clarity. Copyright ©2020 Atlanta Pet Life Reproduction in whole or in part is not allowed without written permission from the publisher. Printed in the U.S.A. by Walton Press, Inc.

6 Spring 2020 | Atlanta Pet Life

editor’s letter


pring flowers and buds on the trees herald the end of cooler weather and the promise of sunshine and outdoor activities. In this issue, we look at some of the new attractions at the Georgia Aquarium and Zoo Atlanta. From the new African Savanna enclosure at Zoo Atlanta to the upcoming saltwater gallery for sharks at the Georgia Aquarium. Spring is a great time to visit both the zoo and aquarium, what with all the spring babies, and this year the aquarium is expecting a baby beluga whale. Need to run errands this spring? Nicole Letts, in Where Ryan Roams, features businesses like The Home Depot that will allow you to bring your canine companion along. Or check out Woofstock Park. Writer Tonya Layman explains how the city of Woodstock turned a former apartment property into the town’s first dog park. For fans of our feathered friends, writer Laura Moss explains Papayago Rescue House’s mission to provide care and support for pet birds, including parrots, which can live 60 to 80 years. Writer Beth Reese Cravey highlights the upcoming Rescue Dog Games in Piedmont Park, another great activity this spring. For our cat lovers out there, Sparrow Marcioni gives tips on how to allow indoor cats a little outside time, in the spring or any time. But what if you still want to stay inside and cuddle? Well, you can do that too, just like my Scotty wanted to do recently.

Lisa R. Schoolcraft Editor Atlanta Pet Life

(678) 341-4200 820 Atlanta Hwy. , Cumming, GA 30040 Spring 2020 | Atlanta Pet Life 7

PET LIFE MOVERS & SHAKERS | Social Influence

Sir Macson Cheese is an Australian Labradoodle turned service dog.

Sir Macson Cheese

Service dog becomes social media hit Written by Sandra Bolan


ittle did Roswell resident Marcail McGranahan Tillotson realize that when she started an Instagram account to post cute pictures of her pup that he’d end up helping many more people than herself. That’s because Tillotson’s pet, Sir Macson Cheese, is more than just a companion: He’s a medical alert service dog. “We resonate with a lot of people who have service dogs,” she says. Tillotson, who works as a residential real 8 Spring 2020 | Atlanta Pet Life

estate advisor at Engel & Völkers Atlanta, waited three years for Sir Macson Cheese, which she also spells SirMacsonCheese. “Getting (a service dog) is a life changing difference,” Tillotson says, adding “all disabilities are not visible.” Sir Macson Cheese performs life-saving tasks “such as alerting me when it is time to take medication before I, myself realize that it is time to take medication,” she says. “He is specifically trained for me.” Sir Macson Cheese came home on April 29, 2017, when he was just 12 weeks old. The two spent the next six months

training five hours a day, six days a week to transform the Australian Labradoodle into a service dog. “He wears his title ‘service dog’ very proudly. It took a lot,” Tillotson says. “(It was) 100% worth it. He’s my best friend.” Like most dog-centric Instagram accounts, Sir Macson Cheese’s is filled with pics of him playing in the park, hanging with his canine BFFs, getting primped and pampered, dock diving and wearing cute outfits. Sir Macson Cheese slowly gained a following, and then “it just kind of took off,” Tillotson says. The dog had 10,000 followers even before 100 posts, which took roughly six to eight months. In February 2018, Sir Macson Cheese celebrated his first birthday. His picture had only two hashtags: #birthdayboy and #firstbirthday. That post garnered almost 2,000 likes and more than 300 comments. “It didn’t even make sense,” admits Tillotson. Tillotson was contacted by Amazon Treasure Truck earlier this year to participate at an event in Piedmont Park. Their first partnership was forged. “We didn’t know our account had any power or influence,” Tillotson admits. Soon, other partnerships followed including one with The Farmer’s Dog,

PupJoy and Atlanta-based C4 Belts for dog collars. “It was just kind of fascinating to see that normal people can do this,” she says. Having a service dog has enabled Tillotson to maneuver life comfortably and to push herself to tackle new challenges, particularly to run 5K races. “It became an achievable thing,” Tillotson says of having Sir Macson Cheese by her side. The pair, along with Tillotson’s husband, Michael, ran their first race, the PNC Atlanta 5K, in October. A month later, they ran the Lanier Under the Lights 5K and took six minutes off their previous finish time. Tillotson says her favorite moment when racing is when Sir Macson Cheese looks up at her and “we’re all running on that runner’s high. It’s a really good moment.” To follow SirMacsonCheese on Instagram go to sirmacsoncheese.

䠀伀圀 䌀䄀一 圀䔀 匀䤀䴀倀䰀䤀䘀夀 夀伀唀刀 䰀䤀䘀䔀㼀 倀攀琀 䌀愀爀攀 匀攀爀瘀椀挀攀猀 猀椀渀挀攀 ㈀ 㘀

㌀ ㌀ 㔀 㔀   䰀 䔀 一 伀堀  刀 䐀  一 䔀 Ⰰ  匀 吀 䔀   㜀 㔀   簀  䄀吀 䰀䄀 一 吀䄀 Ⰰ 䜀 䄀  ㌀ ㌀ ㈀ 㘀   簀   㐀 㐀 ⴀ 㐀 ㌀ ㈀ ⴀ ㄀ ㄀ 㤀 ㈀   簀   䈀 唀 䌀 䬀 䠀 䔀 䄀 䐀 倀䄀圀 匀 ⸀ 䌀伀 䴀

Spring 2020 | Atlanta Pet Life 9


Rescue Takes Flight Papayago Rescue House provides care, support and second chances for Georgia’s pet birds Written by Laura Moss | Photos by Papayago Rescue House


ast year, Brianna Stoddard, executive director of Papayago Rescue House, got a call about a salmon-crested cockatoo. The family that owned the bird was moving and planned to leave the pet on the side of the road if Stoddard didn’t take in the animal. Stoddard and her colleague Maria Sullivan, who started the Marietta-based nonprofit bird rescue in 2015, jumped into action and took in the beautiful creature, whom they named Coco Chanel. But Coco Chanel wasn’t doing well. She reeked of cigarette smoke, she’d been living in a dark closet to keep her quiet, and her feet had been broken to keep her from walking around. Stoddard and Sullivan, who’ve been rescuing birds since 10 Spring 2020 | Atlanta Pet Life

2004, set to work nursing the cockatoo back to health, and today, Coco Chanel is unrecognizable from the abused and neglected bird she once was. “She now walks the rescue and comforts other birds and people alike,” says Stoddard. “She greets people at the door and wants head scratches from them all. People who are afraid of birds are not afraid of her. She has an aura about her that people feel at peace with her.” Today, Coco Chanel is Papayago’s ambassador and has her own Facebook page,, where she keeps followers updated on herself and her avian crew. Coco Chanel’s case was a heartbreaking one but not unusual, according to

Stoddard. Most of Papayago’s birds are surrendered by owners. While some come from families who are unable to physically care for their feathered friends any longer, others are abandoned when their owners realize that the birds can live up to 60 or 80 years. “We take in surrendered birds, rescue when necessary, rehabilitate, retrain and rehome these wonderful, intelligent beings,” Stoddard says. While Papayago isn’t a sanctuary, it currently has 124 birds in rescue, and it’s helped more than 300 others. It also supports owners in need of assistance so birds can remain in nurturing homes, and it educates the community about adoption and proper bird care. “We have families who are losing their homes and need a safe place for their birds to go,” Stoddard says. “We have also helped with birds due to a financial crisis or provided hardship boarding. We continue to provide support to the families of birds adopted from us as a community that is developing knowledge, skill and support


in the heart of Brookhaven since 2011. The nonprofit Papayago Rescue House formed in 2015, but its founders have been assisting pet bird rescue since 2004. for each member. We believe this is the reason for our very low return rate of 1%.” The nonprofit needs volunteers, sponsors, fosters and adopters interested in helping Papayago’s mission to rescue, rehabilitate, and educate. “People who open their hearts and spend time with the birds make all the difference in having happy, healthy birds going into homes,” Stoddard says.

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Spring 2020 | Atlanta Pet Life 11


Meeting The Need Meals on Wheels Atlanta creates pet pantry

Written by Beth Reese Cravey | Photos by Meals on Wheels Atlanta


he Meals on Wheels Atlanta volunteers who delivered about 900,000 meals to area seniors in 2019 often found that the food was being diverted to other furry family members. Some of the seniors, the volunteers reported, were sharing their meals with their pets. That came as no surprise to Hillary Baker, who runs the nonprofit’s marketing and partnerships, as well as its gourmet food social enterprise, Purposeful Gourmet Foods, and its gourmet garden. “I totally get that because I’m a big dog lover. I have two dachshunds and would do anything for them,” she says. “So we decided that we would start delivering nutritious pet food as well. It’s better for our seniors and definitely better for their pets.” In 2019, Baker established a pet food pantry in Meals on Wheels’ offices at 1705 Commerce Dr. in Atlanta, with the entry graced by a painting of two dogs and a cat by local pet artist Lisa Gleim-Jonas. The pantry houses donations of pet food and 12 Spring 2020 | Atlanta Pet Life

toys, as well as the pet food it purchases. “The response has been overwhelming,” she says. “Pet food has been pouring in. It’s been a good opportunity to tell our story about senior and pet hunger.” And part of the pet hunger story is that the agency welcomes pet food donations but prefers financial donations to be able to purchase the appropriate food. “For us, it costs just $8 a day to feed a senior, $9 if they have a pet. It’s really better to donate the money instead of pet food. This way, we can ensure that we have the right pet food for the right type of pet,” Baker says. “For example, sometimes we end up with food that isn’t appropriate for an aging dog, or we get too much of one type, and it will expire.” To help distribute pet food to needy seniors, the agency has partnered with the Atlanta Humane Society. Helping tackle pet hunger is one of the society’s many outreach efforts that also include free vaccination clinics and a low-cost spay and neuter program, says Karen Spaulding, director of community outreach.

“We’re growing our relationships with key partners in Atlanta like Meals on Wheels to help reach pet owners in need,” she says. “Pet owners in our community struggle between feeding themselves and feeding their pets, and we’re working to provide free pet food for these owners who already receive food for themselves through program partners, so that’s no longer a decision they have to make.” For Meals on Wheels senior clients, the volunteers who bring them food are a lifeline to the outside world, Baker says. But the seniors who have pets feel less isolated. “For many of our senior clients, they are alone all day. The delivery can sometimes be their only human contact for the day. We understand isolation,” she says. “We love when we hear that a senior client has a pet because we know that they don’t feel alone, and they feel loved and needed.” Another initiative to help end senior hunger in Atlanta is “Pitch In For The Kitchen,” which will be a “state-of-the-art” community kitchen with classrooms, demonstration kitchens, a volunteer hub and an area for chefs to prepare fresh, nutritious meals for seniors. “It’s going to enable us to really enhance our ability to serve the need of seniors in Atlanta,” Baker says. “We currently have over 330 seniors on our ‘can’t wait’ list. It’s heartbreaking to think that mothers, fathers, grandparents are literally waiting to have someone knock at their door to provide them food.”

TO HELP Meals on Wheels Atlanta receives no government funds and relies on community support. To donate, volunteer or get more information, contact Meals on Wheels Atlanta at 1705 Commerce Drive NW, Atlanta; 404.351.3889,

Meals on Wheels Atlanta has established a pet pantry to help seniors, who are sharing their meals with pets


Rescue Dog Games Festival focuses on dog- and familyfriendly activities, games, contests Written by Beth Reese Cravey | Photos by Rescue Dog Games


ne of the organizers of Atlanta’s upcoming Rescue Dog Games is a small, 3- to 4-year-old mixed-breed canine named River. Founder Jill Waddell, who adopted the “unique combo” of heritage in 2018, calls River her best friend and business partner. The dog has been her co-pilot as she planned the past festivals that started in 2016 and celebrate rescue dogs and their families. “I value the love and positive life lessons that a rescue dog brings to a family,” she says. “It’s an unconditional love and presence in life that is unmatched.” Waddell hopes the games, to be held this year on March 15 at Piedmont Park, will provide impetus for more people to experience those positive life lessons. She founded the event, she says, to bring people together to support Atlanta dogs, advocate adoptions and encourage people who already have dogs to get outside and play with them. “I want to make a positive difference for dogs — to create enough community awareness around rescues working together to make adoption the only consideration in getting a dog. We need to work together as a community to be the voice 14 Spring 2020 | Atlanta Pet Life

for dogs’ best interests,” she says. “We also want the focus on play, to create more gratitude in people for their dogs.” The Midtown site provides the outside gathering place, along with Park Tavern and Beer Garden. The games have a long list of dog-and family-friendly activities, including interactive art project and dog game stations, disc-dog demonstrations, an agility course, a kissing booth, a rover relay and a “doggie splash party.” Canines and their owners can enter a costume contest and dance-off, and have their smiles captured in a photo booth And new this year is a dog food drive. Adoptable dogs from area rescue organizations will be on site, with some of the canines showcased in a fashion show. “We want people to adopt dogs,” Waddell says. “They display such deep gratitude and love.” Since the first year, thousands of humans and their dogs have attended the games. Angela Settles and other volunteers helped craft the experience, and the 2020 event will be Settles’ third as a volunteer. She helps manage onsite registration and VIP tickets, and her dog, Piper, has been a model in games advertisements. “I love rescue dogs. I like being a part

of an event that is fun and supports the Atlanta pet rescues,” she says. “This is a festival like no other. There are goofy, fun activities to participate in. You do not have to be a pro; anyone can play.” Like Waddell, Settles hopes the event will bring together adoptable dogs and people who want a “new best friend.” “There are so many beautiful dogs in these shelters who need a second chance at life. We need to see the people in Atlanta step up and adopt to end the overpopulation in these shelters,” she says. “We adopted our sweet Piper after the first year of working at Rescue Dog Games. She comes everywhere with us and is a bundle of energy. You can always count on dogs for unconditional love.” In addition to activities and adoptable dogs, the event will feature dog-themed vendors and “pet partners” such as the Atlanta Humane Society, Furkids Animal

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Rescue Dog Ganes will be held from 1 to 6 p.m. March 15 at Piedmont Park.

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IF YOU GO The event is 1-6 p.m. March 15 at Piedmont Park. General admission is free, but a $10 VIP — “Very Important Puppy” — Experience ticket is available. VIPs can participate in all of activities, indulge in beer garden samples from various breweries and pick up vendor prizes and the chance to choose which Pet Partner organization will receive the proceeds from their tickets. To register, get VIP tickets or more information, visit

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404.237.7440 Spring 2020 | Atlanta Pet Life 15


Canine Assistants Dogs that can change the world Written by Mickey Goodman


ocated on a quiet winding road in Milton, Canine Assistants has all the trappings of an ordinary farm with horses, donkeys, an ornery goat and multiple cats roaming the 18-acre property. What’s unusual is that these animals co-exist with up to 120 extraordinary dogs learning to become service and seizure response dogs for children and adults with mobility issues, epilepsy, Type I diabetes, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and more. From a humble beginning in 1991, Canine Assistants (CA) has become the primary provider of community service dogs for pediatric hospitals in the U.S. “What better dogs to comfort hospital patients than those born, raised and taught at our facility who have never known a fear of people?” says Jennifer Arnold, founder and CEO. “We raise golden retrievers, Labradors and golden doodles because these breeds are not perceived as 16 Spring 2020 | Atlanta Pet Life

a threat by the public, they’re large enough to assist their owners with mobility issues, and they have longevity.” The puppies’ education begins when they are just two days old, and it takes about a year and a half before they are ready for placement. “The selection process is gut wrenching because our list is extremely long, and we can only place 75 to 100 dogs a year,” says Arnold. “There is never a charge to clients.” The program runs on volunteers who learn Arnold’s methods of “teaching” instead of “training.” They exercise the energetic dogs on campus, take them on field trips and invite them for sleepovers or extended visits at their homes to acclimate them to different environments. “Helping ward off health issues is second nature to dogs that have an innate ability to detect slight changes in a human’s body chemistry,” says Arnold. “It’s like our ability to recognize colors. Once you know that black is black, you know it. What’s remarkable is that they can warn humans

Canine Assistants has become the primary provider of community service dogs for pediatric hospitals in the U.S.

of imminent health crises. Recently, our ‘spokesdog,’ named Great — because he is — detected an epileptic seizure more than two hours in advance of its happening.”

Another extraordinary dog named Max performed crucial interventions for his owner, Caitlin Jones, which led to her recovery after a violent attack. His journey from shelter to service was honored at the organization’s Every Dog’s a Hero Gala, where he was given CA’s first ever Community Hero Dog Award. The impetus for CA began when Arnold was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis as a teenager and consigned to a wheelchair. Her father learned about a California program that trained service dogs and decided to start a similar program in Georgia. Tragically, he was killed by a drunk driver before his dream came true or was able to learn of Arnold’s misdiagnosis and ability to walk again. It took Arnold and her mother another 10 years to make the organization a reality. Since the need for assistance dogs is so great, and the supply so limited, Arnold has developed a protocol called “Bond-Based Approach” to help those who want to teach their own dogs or start similar programs. For more information on how to donate and volunteer, visit Canine Assistants founder Jennifer Arnold has developed a protocol for those who want to teach their own dogs or start similar programs.

Spring 2020 | Atlanta Pet Life 17


Where Ryan Roams Spring 2020 Follow Ryan, an Atlanta Humane Society rescue, on her adventures throughout pet-friendly ATL


hen it comes to getting out and about with your pup, it’s important to make sure that both of you are enjoying the day. For Ryan, sometimes that means a day of dog parks and dog-specific activities, but other times, it means tagging along on errands. However, when we do take Ryan on errands, we make sure that she can come with us for the entire trip — no hanging out in our car while one of us runs inside. That’s not fun (or safe) for anyone! Spring often means getting outdoors more, tackling home improvement projects and even hitting the road for some much needed R&R. If you find yourself in need of any (or all!) of the aforementioned tasks, Ryan and I have you covered.

Home Depot At our hometown hardware store, The Home Depot, dogs are welcome. Spring is the time when home projects really kick-up, so owners, feel free to tackle all of your errands at once without having to worry about dropping the dog off at home. Service dogs are, of course, always able to freely move throughout the store with their companions. Other pups are at the discretion of store managers, but as long as your dog is leashed and well-behaved, it shouldn’t be an issue. We visited the Sidney Marcus location and were encouraged to shop throughout the store, and Ryan loved it! Ryan says: After getting a few pets from the store manager, I was on my way for shopping! The Home Depot 2525 Piedmont Road NE | Atlanta 30324 | 404.841.5608 18 Spring 2020 | Atlanta Pet Life

Home Depot is a great place for pooches and their owners to tackle spring projects together.

Wag-a-lot Upper Westside treats all dogs like family, including giving them the most delightful treats like this coconut cream pup cup.

Sheep and Meadow What’s not to love about a coffee shop named after sheep, which are historically one of canines’ best friends? After all, many a good boy has guarded sheep for hundreds of years. Sheep and Meadow is a quaint coffee shop in the heart of Peachtree Hills. Unsurprisingly, it’s guarded by a good girl of its own, Stella, the black Labrador. Without fail, Stella will come to greet your pup and will probably linger by your feet, too. Sheep and Meadow welcomes dogs to order a beverage with their parents inside before making their way outdoors to linger on the cozy pea gravel patio. It’s an ideal place to take in spring’s sunny days while enjoying one of the barista’s Methodical Coffee made concoctions. Ryan says: Don’t miss the unofficial dog park in Peachtree Hills Park across the street. There’s plenty of room to roam along with a playground for tykes, too. Sheep and Meadow 345 Peachtree Hills Ave. NE Suite 100 | Atlanta 30305 | 800.446.5526

Wag-a-lot, Upper Westside Spring break is coming in quickly, and summer will be right on its heels. As such, you’ve may have booked at least one, unfortunately, not-so-dog-friendly

Ryan waits patiently to greet her friend and Sheep & Meadow guard dog, Stella.

Looking to spoil your furry BFF? Wag-a-lot Upper Westside has local products galore!

vacation. If that’s the case, trust the team at Wag-a-lot Upper Westside for your boarding and doggy day-care needs. This location opened just a few months ago and is already a welcome addition to the neighborhood. It’s easily accessible without being in the thick of Atlanta traffic. Plus, the facility is stunning, with two indoor play areas as well as an outdoor one, a giant picture window for watching your pups play, a retail space complete with small-business-made treats and toys, and a refrigerator filled to the brim with chef-created canine noshes. Overall, there is so much to see and do! Even better? There are two other Wag-a-lot locations around town! Ryan says: My review is four paws way up for Wag-a-lot. Since my mom works from home, I haven’t been to doggy day care in years, but I’m secretly hoping she’ll drop me off for some playtime fun soon! Wag-a-lot Upper Westside 1919 Hills Ave. NW | Atlanta 30318 | 404.795.8346 Spring 2020 | Atlanta Pet Life 19


Woofstock Dog Park Former apartments become Woodstock’s first dog park Written by Tonya Layman


ver the course of several years, Woodstock has added amenities that make the city a great place to live, work and play for its residents. Development of a dog park shows the community also values its four-legged residents. After a 2009 flood destroyed the Walden Chase apartment complex, the city stepped in to turn the property at 150 Dupree Road into a dog park. With grant dollars from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the city re-purposed the vacant land by building Woofstock Park in July 2013. Open daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., the park has become a fun and convenient gathering spot for residents looking for a place to spend time outdoors with their 20 Spring 2020 | Atlanta Pet Life

dogs, says Michael Huffstetler, Woodstock’s director of Parks and Recreation. “My favorite thing at the park is that we have a group of older gentlemen who meet up there every morning and visit while their dogs play,” he says. “There are a lot of groups that meet there at scheduled times.” The only public operated dog park in the city, Woofstock is five acres and offers two off-leash play areas, one for smaller dogs under 30 pounds and one for larger dogs. The park features open greenspace, public restrooms and water fountains, along with wooden agility structures for the dogs to enjoy during their play time and shaded seating areas for owners. It is lit at night for visitor safety, as well. With a connection for Noonday Creek Trail and located conveniently to the Town to Creek trails, dog owners can let their furry friends play in the park before taking

“My favorite thing at the park is that we have a group of older gentlemen who meet up there every morning and visit while their dogs play,” he says. “There are a lot of groups that meet there at scheduled times.”

Woofstock Park is near Woodstock’s trail system, so dog owners can take their leashed pets on a walk to a nearby brewery or restaurant after playing in the park. off on a longer adventure down a nearby path. Noonday Creek is part of the city’s trail system and connects the dog park to downtown. Owners can take their leashed dogs on about a 10- to 15-minute walk to a nearby restaurant or brewery, many of which are pet-friendly establishments. To avoid future problems with flooding in the area, the city implemented multiple design elements that aid water drainage. The asphalt parking lots were removed and replaced with a gravel surface, and the city recently placed new gravel in the lot and new mulch in the dog play areas. “Our staff maintains the park on a daily basis, and it gets a lot of attention,” Huffstetler says. “This park has come a long way and will continue to evolve. Everything there was hand-built by Scouts and staff, and we are always looking to add more.” Learn more at Woofstock-Park

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Spring 2020 | Atlanta Pet Life 21


Run for the  Rescues 5K

Spring Calendar Atlanta Phoenix Cat Show Feb. 29–March 1 1032 S. Marietta Parkway SE, Marietta This Cat Fanciers of America All Breed Cat Show, hosted by the Atlanta Phoenix Cat Society, will feature eight rings of continuous judging over two days. The 10 a.m.–4 p.m. event also features rescue cat adoptions and vendors with cat-themed items. General admission, $7; seniors and children under 12, $6. AtlantaPhoenixCatSociety/events/

Rescue Dog Games

International All Breed Dog Show March 7–8 Gwinnett County Fairgrounds, Expo Center, 2405 Sugarloaf Parkway, Lawrenceville Hosted by the 20-year-old International All Breed Canine Association, the “Europeanstyle” 2020 Peach State Winter Sieger typically features AKC-recognized breeds but also includes an increasing number of rare breeds. Judges are from across the world and provide written critique. httpswwwiabcacomindexhtml

Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference March 12–15 Georgia International Convention Center, 2000 Convention Center Concourse, College Park At least 500 exhibitors and as many as 50,000 visitors are expected at the Atlanta Pet Fair, which bills itself as the Southeast’s largest trade show dedicated to grooming and pet-care professionals. There will be networking, education, grooming competition and new products. Fees vary depending on the activity.

Manta Race 5K March 14 Pemberton Place, 126 Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd. NW, Atlanta Proceeds from the 8 a.m. race go to the Georgia Aquarium’s research and conservation programs that benefit aquatic species, such as 22 Spring 2020 | Atlanta Pet Life

manta rays. Runners, joggers and walkers are welcome; children may participate if they can complete the course at a minimum pace of 20 minutes per mile. Registration is $25 through Feb. 28, $30 from March 1–11, $35 March 12–13 and $40 on race day. events/event/manta-race-5k/

Among the activities at the Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference is a groomers competition.

6th Annual For the Love of Paws Gala March 14 Grand Hyatt Atlanta, 3300 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta Hosted by Angels Among Us Pet Rescue, the 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. event salutes the “Roaring Twenties” with a seated dinner, open bar, auction and live music. Proceeds benefit the Alpharetta nonprofit dedicated to saving dogs and cats from high-kill shelters in North Georgia. Single tickets are $200; sponsorships available. one.bidpal. net/lovepaws/welcome

Rescue Dog Games March 15 Piedmont Park Meadow and Park Tavern, 500 10th St. NE, Atlanta The 1 to 6 p.m. Rescue Dog Games bring together animal rescue groups to increase awareness of its “adopt — not shop” mantra. Activities include a “Dressed for the Party” fashion show featuring adoptable dogs, St. Paw-tricks Day costume contest, doggie kissing booth, rover relay, dog and human dance-off, disc dog demonstrations and an agility course. General admission is free, but registration required for activities; VIP tickets are $10 and benefit rescue groups.

Run for the Rescues

Zoo Atlanta Beastly Feast

March 21

May 2

Suwanee Town Center Amphitheatre, Town Center Avenue, Suwanee

Zoo Atlanta, Savanna Hall, 800 Cherokee Ave. SE, Atlanta

The Atlanta Humane Society fundraiser features an 8:30 a.m. fun run and a 9:15 a.m. 5K run/walk. Participants are encouraged to bring their dogs; trophies and prizes will be given to the top men and women finishers and for age groups. The top three dogs crossing the 5K finish line will receive awards. runsignup. com/Race/Events/GA/Suwanee/ RunFortheRescues

The zoo’s premier black-tie fundraiser begins with a stroll through the grounds with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres from local restaurants followed by a seated dinner, live music, dancing and silent and live auctions at Savanna Hall. Proceeds benefit the zoo’s education programs and conservation efforts. Time and ticket cost TBA.

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in advertising with us? Please email us at or call 404-538-9895.

Race for the Rescues May 9

Atlanta Pet Expo April 11–12 Gwinnett County Fairgrounds, Expo Center, 2405 Sugarloaf Parkway, Lawrenceville This trade show features at least 100 pet-related exhibitors, training, expert speakers, adoptions, agility demonstrations and networking opportunities. Hours are 10 a.m.–5 p.m. the first day, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. the second day. Advance tickets $3–$4. atlanta-pet-expo-2020/

Tribble Mill Park, 2125 Tribble Mill Parkway SE, Lawrenceville Race for the Rescues is a 5K and fun run held by a Grayson nonprofit that raises money for animal rescue groups and animal welfare organizations in Georgia. The fun run starts at 8:30 a.m., the 5K at 9 a.m. Participants are encouraged to bring their dogs; the first three dogs crossing the 5K finish line will receive awards. Trophies and prizes will be given to the top men and women finishers and for age groups.

We Care for Your Pet Like You Do. 24/7. Lodging

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Daycare Grooming 516 Ponce de Leon Avenue NE (404) 879-0910

Midtown Spring 2020 | Atlanta Pet Life 23

Animal Attractions

From sharks to southern white rhinos, here’s what’s new at the Georgia Aquarium and Zoo Atlanta Written by Jill Becker

24 Spring 2020 | Atlanta Pet Life

Spring 2020 | Atlanta Pet Life 25


ions and tigers and barracudas, oh my. In total, more than 3.5 million visitors file through the turnstiles at the Georgia Aquarium and Zoo Atlanta each year to witness a range of wildlife they’d normally have to travel to the Costa Rican rainforests, South African plains or other distant destinations to see. If you haven’t been to either attraction in a while, make plans for a return visit, as a lot of fun new stuff is in store. Here’s what you may have missed or what’s coming soon.

Zoo Atlanta

Zoo Atlanta’s African Savanna is one of its newest features.

26 Spring 2020 | Atlanta Pet Life

In operation since 1889, Zoo Atlanta began humbly when a traveling circus on its way to Marietta stalled out due to financial troubles. The small menagerie of animals left behind was purchased by a local businessman and donated to the city of Atlanta. The collection included a few pumas, lions, snakes and camels, with a hyena, elk, gazelle and raccoon thrown in for good measure. Today, some 220 species of animals are housed throughout the zoo’s 40-plus acres, and the list

continues to expand. One of the newest features is the African Savanna, where animals indigenous to that continent now have fancy new digs on the adjacent land formerly used to house the Cyclorama. (That massive, cylindrical painting of the Battle of Atlanta is now located at the Atlanta History Center in Buckhead.) “That property had not originally been part of the zoo,” says Jennifer Mickelberg, Zoo Atlanta’s vice president of collections and conservation, “so this gave us an opportunity to build new and expanded habitats for African elephants, giraffes, zebras, ostriches, warthogs and meerkats, but especially the elephants. We had an opportunity to create a dramatically larger environment that we could plan specifically with elephants in mind. We had a great elephant program prior to the opening of this habitat, but the new complex gives us the ability to take our elephant program to an exciting new level.” Among the enhancements for the elephants such as Msholo, an adult male

The African Savanna has larger spaces for the elephants, above, and the meerkat complex, right.

that arrived from the San Diego Zoo Safari Park last July, are a large pond with 360-degree access, two waterfalls and a feeder activity enrichment wall on which staffers hide food for the elephants to find with their trunks. The floor of the new Zambezi Elephant Center features 3 feet of sand, which is easier on their feet and joints. The expanded warthog habitat includes two specially designed dens they can use for burrowing, and the meerkat complex has much more room for the “mob” to dig, patrol and forage. In addition to better, larger living conditions for the animals, new experiences for visitors await as well at the African Savanna. “The entire habitat has a redesigned interpretive experience focused on four main themes: Be the Animal, Be the Keeper, Be the Conservationist and Be the Change,” says Mickelberg. “The overarching theme of the interpretive experience is the connections between what we do here in Atlanta and our impact on the wild savannas of Africa.” Also on the horizon

In addition to better, larger living conditions for the animals, new experiences for visitors await as well at the African Savanna. at African Savanna are a new beer garden and a two-level ballroom for special events. The old elephant habitat has been made over as a home for southern white rhinos, a near-threatened species set to arrive at the zoo sometime in the first half of 2020. Elsewhere at the property, in the Complex Carnivores zone containing giant otters, Chilean flamingos and two-toed sloths, is a species new to the attraction: the mara. The zoo welcomed a pair of the rabbit-like mammals, named Lilo and Stitch, from the Patagonia region of South America in December. Spring 2020 | Atlanta Pet Life 27

Georgia Aquarium When it opened in 2005 with a $250 million endowment from Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus, the Georgia Aquarium was the largest aquarium in the world. It has since lost that title to marine life parks in China and Singapore, but it’s still the largest aquarium in the western hemisphere, and it’s about to get even bigger. A $100 million addition, currently titled Expansion 2020 and expected to be completed sometime this fall, will add 45,000 square feet to the attraction.

The massive project involves moving the aquarium entrance to Pemberton Place, facing the neighboring World of Coca-Cola, and the creation of a swanky, million-gallon saltwater gallery devoted to those mysterious denizens of the deep: sharks. “The goal and vision behind the new shark exhibit are to alleviate the stigma surrounding shark species and help our guests better understand some of the most misunderstood things about sharks,” says Paige Hale, Georgia Aquarium’s senior manager of communications.

The Georgia Aquarium’s $100 million expansion will move the entrance to Pemberton Place and add a saltwater gallery for sharks.

28 Spring 2020 | Atlanta Pet Life

Beyond the Enclosure

A variety of shark species will be visible through the floorto-ceiling windows in the new gallery, which will also feature interactive elements intended to teach visitors all about the cold-blooded creatures. “Sharks are an apex predator that provide balance and control of the ocean’s ecosystems,” says Hale. “Without them, our ecosystems would swing out of control. Some of the main threats facing sharks are human-made, and we want to educate our guests about how to help them.” An equally menacing-looking animal is the focus of the aquarium’s new alligator exhibit. Visible from the ground floor of the freshwater River Scout gallery and the second-floor viewing area in Aquanaut Adventure, the structure includes American alligators as well as rare albino alligators. Also fairly new to the aquarium are Imaq and Whisper, two beluga whales who now make their home in the Cold Water Quest gallery. The aquarium announced in January that Whisper is pregnant and expecting her own new addition sometime in mid-April. Georgia Aquarium 225 Baker St. N.W. Atlanta 30313 404.581.4000 |

Zoo Atlanta 800 Cherokee Ave. S.E. Atlanta 30315 404-624-9453 (WILD) |

Zoos and aquariums aren’t just for viewing animals. Responsible, accredited facilities around the world play a vital role in wildlife conservation, research and education. Organizations accredited through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) “meet the highest standards in animal care and welfare to ensure a safe and educational family experience,” says Paige Hale, senior manager of communications at the Georgia Aquarium. “AZA-accredited facilities contribute to scientific research that supports the conservation of thousands of species, some of them critically endangered, and annually donate millions of dollars to support scientific research, conservation and education programs.” Since opening, the Georgia Aquarium alone has educated more than 1 million students through its education efforts and field trips, and has participated in more than 100 research projects that have helped scientists better understand marine life and how to protect it. An example of the latter is the aquarium’s successful mapping of the first complete whale shark DNA genome, research that is providing critical information aimed at one day getting the whale shark off the endangered species list. “Successful conservation is very complex in that while biodiversity around the world is in decline, there is no single threat facing wildlife and wild places; rather, there are many threats,” says Jennifer Mickelberg, Zoo Atlanta’s VP of collections and conservation. The list includes habitat loss, the illegal wildlife trade and exploitation for the pet trade or for traditional medicines. “Zoos have a unique ability to play more than one role in the big picture,” says Mickelberg, “whether it’s mitigating the threats facing species and their ecosystems, reintroducing some species to the wild, maintaining assurance colonies of endangered species, serving as sources of conservation funding, engaging in scientific research that benefits the global body of knowledge about species’ behavior and biology, or collaborating with other partners.” The zoo’s new African Savanna, for example, involves a partnership with Conservation South Luangwa, a Zambia-based NGO that protects African elephants and other species affected by the illicit animal trade and human-wildlife conflict. “Caring about species and the challenges they’re facing is the inspiration that can drive people to act for positive change,” says Mickelberg. “And in terms of education, zoos are an invaluable resource. We provide people with the information they need to make informed choices to learn more, or to pursue professions in animal care, conservation or the life sciences. Most people are not going to have the opportunity to take a trip to Africa, so the opportunity to see and make connections with animals firsthand at Zoo Atlanta or at another accredited zoo is an experience people simply are not going to have otherwise.” Spring 2020 | Atlanta Pet Life 29

PET LIFE EXPERTS | Catology 101

The Great Debate

Should cats be indoors or outdoors? Written by Sparrow Marcioni


ost pet owners know that risks run higher for cats living exclusively outdoors. Between cars, predators, cruel humans and the lack of food and medical care, they tend to live much shorter lives. In fact, a feral or abandoned stray may only survive four to five years without a human caretaker. An indoor cat, on the other hand, can live 12 to 20 years. But should an indoor cat be given access to the outside? It is critical to understand all the risks before beginning to allow outside access, as it is not an easily reversible decision. Cars are a primary cause of death for outdoor kitties. If you are near a road, don’t consider free roaming outdoor life. Likewise, wooded areas can harbor predators including coyotes, hawks and owls; even dogs can be just as dangerous. Additional hazards include encountering poisonous chemicals or plants — or contagious diseases from fighting with other cats. Pets may also come in contact with lungworms or parasites from consuming infected prey or contaminated water. You must also consider that some cruel humans do not hesitate to harm stray cats. A recent study in the Athens area found that through tracking a control group of free roaming kitties, these felines found all sorts of hazardous activities to engage in. Some act like “stoned teenagers,” as

30 Spring 2020 | Atlanta Pet Life

one vet described the results. They were drinking strange liquids, hanging out with stray cats, climbing trees and getting on rooftops and entering storm drains. Whether by tooth, tire or firearm, these creatures lead a precarious life outdoors. A study in the U.K., where 90% of house cats are allowed outdoors, reported that most deaths occurred in pets from 1 to 5 years old. Whether older cats are smarter, or have not yet met their match, is unanswered. With all these hazards, why consider allowing a cat outdoors? Cats have instinctual desires to experience sunshine and fresh air, and to get much needed exercise to allow the discharge of “zoomies” or pent up energy. Obesity, cystitis, dental issues, diabetes and hyperthyroidism can be attributed to the sometimes sluggish lives of indoor cats. Yet allowing free access to the outdoors can also lead to poor litter box habits as well as inappropriate scratching. Provided you’re willing to work through the difficulties, it is possible to provide safe outdoor access. No matter what choice you make for your furry family members, it is imperative they are microchipped, wearing a collar with a breakaway clasp and a name tag with a phone number before going outdoors. Current vaccinations are also a necessity. There are many ways for cats to enjoy being outdoors safely. Teaching them to walk on a leash may be tedious, but it can also be successful, especially with the bigger breeds such as the Bengal cat. A screened porch is a great option as long as the screens are reinforced with pet-proof mesh that can be purchased online to prevent dogs and larger predators from breaking through. This stronger version of screen can repel the attack of a 100-pound dog or coyote.

A fenced yard can be a haven if coyote rollers ( or something similar can be installed along the top of the fence. These rollers prevent predators from gaining traction while landing on top of the fence to enter your yard, and they also keep your cat from jumping out. A type of fencing made specifically for cat enclosures called Purrfect Fencing ( bends and curves over, and doesn’t allow cats to climb over or predators to get inside. Hundreds of designs for all sizes of “kittio” enclosures are built just to give cats a little outside time as an extension of their homes. With each of these scenarios, predator, car and human hazards are minimized, and by providing litter box and scratching components, cats’ good indoor habits are not likely to change. It is always best to observe the behavior of your cats as you introduce them to new choices. Some kitties are terrified of the outdoors and have never experienced looking up and seeing no roof. This is an indication to go very slowly and to realize that your cat may prefer to be indoors only. As cats age, they also tend to become slower and less agile, and this may require a modification of their outdoor access. The best way to decide if heading outside is right for your cat is to always do what’s best for them, especially if they appear fearful. At La Maison du Chat, our kitties are never allowed to free roam outdoors, because they have all been rescued from dangerous situations and traumas, many of which have occurred outdoors, and a recurrence can trigger a PTSD episode. There is a lot to consider in deciding if the outdoors is a good thing for your cat, but with patience, research and the advice of a good cat behaviorist, you can make the best choice for your cat. Sparrow Marcioni is chief animal behaviorist at La Maison du Chat, a Reiki practitioner and co-founder of CatRangers Rescue. She is available for consultation by emailing or by calling770.831.5513.

Atlanta Pet Life

Simply Buckhead

P.O. Box 11633, Atlanta, GA 30355 • 404-538-9895

PET EXPERTS | Veterinary Profile

Dr. Matt Miller

Highs and lows of the mobile vet life Written by Mickey Goodman


ife is rarely dull for Dr. Matt Miller, who has the dubious honor of being one of only two vets in the nation to be bitten by a rabid llama. Along with numerous gratifying interactions, he’s also been injured multiple times by some of his favorite farm animals, as well as losing two wedding bands inside ailing bovines. “After years of treating large animals that always get sick in the dark of night and missing out on time with my wife and two children, I decided to focus on domestic animals and opened Miller Mobile Veterinary Services and Animal Hospital in 2012,” he says. “It caught on immediately.” Wellness exams, vaccinations, lab work, diagnostics, basic sick pet care, pain management and compassionate in-home euthanasia are all available in the comfort of a client’s home. “But I couldn’t do surgery, which I love, take X-rays or do dental procedures,” he says. “I had to refer clients to other veterinarians.” Wanting to perform all necessary services, he opened his brick-and-mortar practice three years ago while maintaining the mobile services. The llama incident occurred a few years after graduation from The University of Georgia’s School of Veterinary Medicine when he joined a practice at Dacula Animal Hospital. “We treated both farm and domestic animals and basically anything that breathed,” he says. “One day my assistant and I headed to a farm where a client reported that one of his llamas was ‘off.’ Our first problem was his two llamas were out in the field instead of being in their pen; the second was that the client wasn’t home to help round them up.” It took some time to corner the animals, 32 Spring 2020 | Atlanta Pet Life

but just as Miller readied his lasso, the 200-pound llama charged and bit him. Hard. “Let’s just say, an altercation ensued, but I finally got him roped,” says Miller. “About that time, the owner arrived and insisted that I give him the rope despite my warning that the llama had bitten me. As he was led back to the pen, the llama bit his owner, as well as his grown son who had come to his father’s rescue.” During the exam, Miller could find nothing wrong except a slight fever. The next morning, he called to check on the llama, only to find that he had died during the night. “I immediately became suspicious,” he

said. “The llama had all the symptoms of rabies. He had been acting ‘off,’ he was acting aggressively, and he had fever. I told the client to take the body to UGA College of Veterinary Medicine for testing.” Miller’s suspicions were confirmed, and everyone involved had to be treated for rabies, a far more painful process for the client and his son who had not been vaccinated than for Miller and his assistant whose vaccines were up to date. “What I love about having my own practice is that I have time to make a connection with the pets I treat whether at the owner’s home or at the clinic,” he says. For more information, visit

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The PACT Act Congress has passed federal an anti-cruelty law. What will it do? Written by Claudine Wilkins, founder of Animal Law Source


he greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way in which its animals are treated,” Mahatma Gandhi once said. In America, we took a stance, and people spoke up for the animals in a big way. A new federal animal cruelty law that virtually went unopposed in a bipartisan run through Congress was signed by President Trump in November. The Protect Animal Cruelty and Torture Act became one of the first federal anti-cruelty statutes in American history. 34 Spring 2020 | Atlanta Pet Life

Georgia, as the other 49 states, has felony provisions against animal cruelty, but there is no federal ban against animal cruelty and torture. This gap in the law was the purpose of the PACT Act, which allows federal prosecutors to go after perpetrators who commit malicious acts of animal cruelty within federal jurisdiction with the full force of felony penalties. Let’s break down what it really does.

What does it do? It closed a loophole in the 2010 Animal Crush Prohibition Act by making any activity defined as “animal crushing” potentially a federal crime, whether or not the act is committed as part of a crush video. These videos are associated with the dark web and child abuse, child pornography and other human crimes.

What is “animal crushing?” Animal crushing commonly refers to extreme fetish videos depicting animal abuse where small animals are crushed, ripped apart, burned or otherwise tortured to death. Usually, these films are designed for the sexual gratification of the viewers. In 2010, a federal law banned the creation or depiction of such videos but not the actual underlying act of animal cruelty.

What does the PACT Act cover? It outlaws purposeful crushing, burning, drowning, suffocation, impalement and other purposeful acts that cause “serious bodily injury” to animals other than fish. It also prohibits some acts of sexual abuse against animals other than fish, but this particular provision seems to have a qualifier that such acts are only prohibited if committed in the “special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States.” It outlines exemptions for humane euthanasia; slaughter for food; recreational activities such as hunting, trapping and fishing; medical and scientific research; normal veterinary, agricultural husbandry or other animal management practices; unintentional acts; and acts that are necessary to protect the life or property of a person. It does not apply to anything other than the specific acts of cruelty listed above. It does not cover all acts of animal cruelty or neglect (lack of food, water, care, shelter, etc.), abandonment, extreme weather, filthy conditions or tethering issues. It does not cover “puppy mill” issues.

Does the PACT Act change state and local law? No. An offender can only be prosecuted pursuant to the PACT Act if the criminal act occurs on federal property (national parks, military bases) or “in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce.” The PACT Act was designed not to preempt or interfere with local/state animal cruelty laws or enforcement. It is merely a federal overlay, exactly like the federal animal fighting law(s).

Who enforces the PACT Act? Federal laws are enforced in federal courts.

What are the possible punishments for violation of the PACT Act? Violations could result in a fine and up to seven years imprisonment.

Does the PACT Act make all animal cruelty a felony? No. As noted above, the PACT Act only applies in a narrow set of circumstances. State and local legislation to strengthen animal cruelty and neglect laws is still needed and very much necessary. Georgia revised its state animal cruelty laws in 2014. For more information, visit

Spring 2020 | Atlanta Pet Life 35


PaWty Animals by Atlanta GirlZ Club®

TV Star Loretta Swit with Kathi Welch

Lucy and Holly with event emcee Neal Reddy of @neallovesyou


Buckhead, October 24


Whiskey Blue Buckhead, October 20


he second annual Howl-O-Ween Boos & Barks was held at Whiskey Blue, Buckhead’s trendy, chic indoor/ outdoor rooftop cocktail lounge perched on top of the modern boutique hotel W Atlanta-Buckhead. Known for serving craft cocktails amid city views, this Woof-Top event is quickly becoming a favorite Howl-O-Ween activity for pet lovers. PaWty Animals Lucy and Holly enjoyed dressing up in costumes, along with other pet pals and their owners, for a costume contest and gift basket prizes. Neal Reddy, from Queer Eye on Netflix, emceed the event. Admission included a specialty dog-toberfest beer or wine and a hot dog bar. Adoptable puppies were present from Furkids Animal Rescue and Shelters.

Hooray for Hollywood Gala & Auction

Furkids Animal Rescue and Shelters

ld Hollywood glam and new southern charm came together at Fix Georgia Pets’ Eighth Annual Gala at the Buckhead home of Guy and Ginny Millner. Among the guests were Atlanta Pet Life’s contributing writers Kathi Welch and Claudine Wilkins. Special guests this year were legendary Hollywood insider and film critic Rex Reed and television star Loretta Swit. The event was co-chaired by Tom Abrams and Lisa Rayner Catherall. Guests mingled with friends dressed in Hollywood chic attire and enjoyed an evening of vintage cocktails, dining on old-school fare and bidding in live and silent auctions for exclusive trips, jewels and one-of-a-kind experiences. The evening was emceed by Christine Pullara Newton of 11Alive’s Atlanta and Company and auctioneer Steve Hightower. Fix Georgia Pets is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to end pet overpopulation in Georgia.

Costumes on the Woof Atlanta, October 30

Lucy & Holly with @philomenathepug 36 Spring 2020 | Atlanta Pet Life

Carly Gill with Cornbread of @checkers.


OWL-O-Ween in Atlanta began by celebrating at the Ninth Annual Costumes on the Woof, a fundraising gala held at Loews Atlanta Hotel to

and treatable dogs and cats in metro Atlanta shelters.

Reindog Parade Atlanta, December 7

R Deborah and Annie of @anniebreeofatlanta benefit LifeLine Animal Project. Pet parents dressed up with their favorite pooches to strut their stuff on the runway for a good cause and a fun-filled night. Ticket prices included two Halloween-inspired cocktails and cash bar, hors d’oeuvres, complimentary goodie gift bags and a photo booth, plus access to silent auction bidding and discounted hotel valet parking. Dressed in bellbottoms, disco divas Lucy and Holly joined their costumed furfriends for a doggie runway show and the chance to win prizes. Guests enjoyed pooch cocktails and small bites, and striking a pose at the photo booth. Co-hosts were Kristin Klingshirn of The Bert Show and radio and television personality Mara Davis, alongside celebrity guest judges Cassie Young and Blake Eason of The Bert Show and television personality Nikky Williams. Founded in 2002, LifeLine is a nonprofit organization based in Atlanta that works to end the euthanasia of healthy

Costumes on the Woof

eindog Parade at the Atlanta Botanical Garden marks the beginning of HOWLiday fun. What better way to get pets in on the magic and festive fun than dressing them up in their finest holiday finery and showing them off on the costume runway! Held annually, rain or shine, the Reindog Parade is the only day of the year when four-legged family members are allowed to set their paws in the gardens. “PaWty Animals” and Santa’s Elves, Lucy and Holly, were on hand to cheer everyone on. Guests enjoyed connecting with local canine enthusiasts and businesses in the Doggie Expo, and having their photos taken with Saint Nick. Reindog is one of Atlanta’s most popular holiday favorites. Pooches of all breeds and sizes arrive dressed in their holiday attire and parade before a panel of judges to compete for prizes — or just to show off for fun. Parade hosts and emcees were Victoria Stilwell, star of Animal Planet’s hit TV series It’s Me or the Dog, and Vincent Martinez, owner of Fashionado and founder/ manager of Doggies on the Catwalk Foundation. Parade judges included Grace Hamlin, founder, The W-underdogs; retired veteran Atlanta news anchor Monica Kaufmann Pearson; Kimberly Lace, co-host of HGTV’s Curb Appeal; and Rodney Ho, AJC columnist.

Disco Divas Lucy & Holly, Atlanta GirlZ Club

Grace Hamlin, founder, The W-underdogs with Atlanta GirlZ Cub

Reindog Parade

Lucy & Holly Spring 2020 | Atlanta Pet Life 37

In Loving Remembrance Of

Lucy Welch 2002–2019

38 Spring 2020 | Atlanta Pet Life

















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In the 1950s, Hollywood Feed began on the corner of Hollywood Street and Chelsea Avenue in Memphis, TN. We started as a local feed store and ultimately grew to a trusted neighborhood purveyor of pet supplies. Today, we offer high-quality foods, USA made treats, toys, beds, and more. We continue to grow, but our philosophy never changes. We strive to provide unmatched service and honest values to our loyal customers offering only the best products that we ourselves test and believe in.


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