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DeKalb Co. Family Reunited With Pets Through Safety Net Foster Program

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) -- Three furry siblings, Bella, Max, and Pierre, saw each other for the first time in two months Tuesday morning. Then, DeKalb County Animal Services brought them to another reunion about 20 minutes away, where their humans were excited to welcome them back home.

Hard times had temporarily separated the crew when the family was forced to find new living arrangements. "With us three and then three dogs, it's just a lot, so I had to put them in foster care," said Sinque Swales. "I've had three before where I had to surrender all of them, so I didn't want that to happen again."

Separate foster families took the dogs in through LifeLine Animal Project's new Safety Net Foster Program. "Our Safety Net Foster Program was created in order to help people in our communities facing a crisis by providing short term housing for pets," said Ashley Bo, the social media coordinator for DeKalb County Animal Services, which is managed by LifeLine Animal Project. "What Safety Net is about is keeping people and their pets together."

A number of situations like evictions, job losses and domestic violence can result in the need for pet foster care. Pets are generally kept for 30 days, and the time is extended based on the circumstances. "I went and picked up the dogs two months ago, brought them to the shelter, and then all the fosters brought them back this morning," said DeKalb County Animal Services Community Support Coordinator Garrison Taylor, who transported the dogs back home.

"My wife kept asking me, 'Are you excited?' I said I'll believe it when I see it more than anything," Sinque Swales said before the dogs arrived back home. LifeLine made him a believer. "If it wasn't for them, I don't know what I would be doing, because I missed them," said his wife, Jessica. Their son, DeAngelo King, was used to falling asleep with the pups around him. "When they weren't sleep with me, for a minute, I couldn't go to sleep," he said, reflecting on the last two months. "It's really so fulfilling for our team to see the joy on people's faces and the pet's faces," Bo said. "Just because people are facing a crisis or a have fallen onto hard times, we believe that they shouldn't have to be separated from their pets that are really their family."

The pets arrived back home right on time for the family's move back to Virginia. LifeLine staff members say there's always a need for pet foster homes. Click here for more information.

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