Veterinarian leaves private practice to care for stray animals a - CBS46 News

Veterinarian leaves private practice to care for stray animals at shelter

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(Source: WGCL) (Source: WGCL)

Saving lives is no easy task for an animal shelter faced with an overcrowding issue. But in DeKalb County, where there are more than 400 stray dogs at the shelter, they've made it their mission to save every animal if they can.

Inside the operating room and underneath the bright lights, Dr. Kathryn Haines performs miracles every day. And for the past decade, she has become a lifeline for many of her patients.

“Being able to see animals that are really sick or hurt go out of here and into forever homes is really exciting for us,” said Haines. 

Dr. Haines gave up 14 years in private practice to care for stray animals at the county shelter, which is run by the LifeLine Animal Project. 

“My private practice experience was becoming very much about the bottom line and selling services, and less oriented toward serving the animals,” said Haines.

She has performed more than 5,000 spay and neuter surgeries at the shelter and recently saved a little guy named Wonder Boy.

“He had about half of one of his lungs hanging out of his chest. He had a couple of fractured ribs,” said Haines.

 Dr. Jennifer House works closely with Haines and said she is a godsend to animals who need it most.   

“Nothing is too big of a problem, which is awesome because some would have said, ‘Oh the lung is out, maybe you should euthanize the dog,’ but she never thought that,” said House.

And she never thought for a minute to give up on Poncho, whose collar had grown into his trachea, and Forrest, who was emaciated and near death.

“To know that he’s going to be okay, and to know that I can make such a difference, it just really feeds my soul,” said Haines.   

“We see so many complicated cases, and that she’s able to do it with so little money and little equipment -- like we have nothing -- I think that’s the amazing part of it,” said House. 

“My ultimate goal is to get them adopted,” added Haines.

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