“It is the mission of Pets Are Loving Support, Inc. to provide ongoing care and support to the pets of Atlanta area persons living with disabilities due to HIV/AIDS, terminal illnesses, and the elderly. With this help, pets and owners may remain together to share the healing power of love and companionship which flows from the human-animal bond.”
How PALS Started
Pets Are Loving Support (PALS), an Atlanta based 501(c)(3) organization,was founded in 1990 by two Atlanta business-women, Dr. Susan Wynn, a veterinarian, and Dr. Margaret Schulte, an educator, who met while doing volunteer work for Project Open Hand. Not only did they have a common interest in working with AIDS patients, but they were animal lovers. One day another volunteer mentioned that there was a person with AIDS who was living alone with his best friend, a cat. He was sharing his one meal per day with his cat and foregoing some of his medications in order to pay for vet care for his animal. Drs. Wynn and Schulte were very touched by the fact that this individual was risking his own health for the health of his only friend, the cat. They immediately realized that the human-animal bond was extremely important to persons living with AIDS. So many lose the support and contact of family and friends, not to mention their financial independence, jobs, homes, and savings. This was an area in the life of persons living with AIDS that needed to be addressed. So, they began collecting pet food. From this humble beginning started PALS.
Since its beginning, PALS has provided services to more than 1,000 clients and over 1,300 companion animals. Currently PALS assists nearly 200 animals with the help of more than 25 volunteers. PALS helps persons with disabled by critical illnesses and the elderly keep their companion animals by providing free pet food and delivery to home-bound clients in the Metro Atlanta area.
How PALS Helps
PALS pays for basic veterinary care including: annual immunizations, vaccinations, flea control, spaying and neutering services, providing free transportation to and from vet clinics, providing contacts for free foster care and adoption programs when necessary. PALS also provides health and educational information regarding “safety” guidelines to owners. PALS has developed relationships with area veterinary clinics which provide a minimum discount to our clients for specialty procedures. This also includes mobile veterinary services for animals that are not transportable.