Atlanta Rescue Dog Cafe is a humane education non-profit with a unique mission: to contribute to the well-being of Atlanta’s pets and people to improve human-animal interactions, reduce the incidence of animal cruelty, and relieve the strain on local animal shelters. We achieve this goal by providing fun, interactive, and engaging educational programming for all age levels from pre-kindergarten on up, even for adults.
The CEO and Founder, Aaron Fisher, taught elementary school for seven years, spent more than 12 years volunteering and working in animal welfare, and has been working with at-risk youth since the early '90s (yes, he's that old). He first came to Atlanta in 1993 to attend Emory University, and his love for the city has only grown since.
The idea for this innovative project was born from these experiences. His students were often too young to volunteer with animals (but really wanted to learn more about pets). Yet, no single organization was primarily dedicated to educating the community about animal welfare, how to care for pets and be safer around animals. Our programming reaches more than 500 participants a month!
Despite so much good that's been accomplished for Atlanta's pets, the number of animals entering area shelters continues to increase, as does the incidence of animal cruelty. Few local rescue groups have the personnel to offer the educational resources to prevent animals from entering shelters in the first place. Simply put, we're not going to spay/neuter, shelter, or adopt our way out of the pet overpopulation problem. We address the root cause of these issues through innovative educational programs that focus on the critical aspects of prevention and healthy human-animal interactions.
Making an Impact
Our educational programs reach more than 500 students a month. Since the beginning of 2018, we've served more than 12,000 Atlanta residents.
Through our innovative One Leash Project, not only does the community learn safe and humane animal practices, we've also kept more than 3,000 lbs. of climbing rope material from entering landfills. Many of the leashes are donated to local first responders, whom we train how to secure loose pets in emergencies, so that they can be returned to their owners, and kept off the streets and out of shelters.
Atlanta Rescue Dog Cafe - helping people, pets, and the planet.
"...our family is finally ready to adopt a dog partly because of you. My daughter went to a ...dog-themed birthday party...and you came to read a story, help the kids learn how to approach dogs they don’t know, and introduce them to a dog so they could practice. My daughter had always been very scared of animals and we had been working...to ease her anxieties so we could get a family pet. You gave her so much more confidence at that party that we were able to...to think about getting a dog of our own. Thank you for what you do! It has changed our family!"
“Thank you...for coming out to our Girl Scout Troop...and leading an amazing program! We had thought it would fulfill the girls ‘animal’ project but it covered so much more.
Having the therapy dogs on site to show appropriate animal/person interaction was definitely very memorable for the girls (and they are still talking about it), but equally impressive...was how you worked in so many lessons...while keeping the program fun and engaging...It was amazing...how you seamlessly worked in...math skills, ...environmental awareness, ...teamwork and getting to know new friends, and then the...community service and introspection by having them dedicate and donate the leashes they made.
It was an amazing hour that our troop found enormously useful. The girls in my carpool hoped you’d come visit their school and said 'it was so good even the adults learned things!' I don’t think the girls will forget Mocha Java and Pig, or the lessons they helped the girls learn, anytime soon.
Thank you for your time and all the effort that you have put into developing and running Atlanta Rescue Dog Cafe. I know our girls learned a lot from the One Leash Project and I highly recommend it to any youth program or educator.
Thank you for what you do.”
Cas P., Girl Scout Leader
"Awesome Corporate Teambuilding
Aaron and team brought the Atlanta Dog Rescue Cafe to our 40-person office and it was the most engagement we've had for a service and teambuilding activity...ever. Our team's been buzzing about it ever since.
Not ONLY did we get to love on the sweetest therapy dog, Ginger - a huge deal in our pet-prohibitive office - but we learned things about each other we'd never otherwise talked about. Aaron paired us off into partners we don't get to work with on a daily basis, and peppered questions in between the steps for making our upcycled rescue leashes. We talked about the most influential books we've read, movies we've seen, and the special pets and people we dedicated our new leashes to.
It was so eye-opening to hear statistics about sheltered animals and to know there are ways we can make a difference. Aaron was able to answer all of our in-depth questions about [micro-]chipping and even has a whole program on the best way to approach and pet other dogs. This education and work is so important in our community, and we're glad to be part of the Atlanta Dog Rescue Cafe family now!"
"I just wanted to let you know that I really loved your class today. It was educational and fun. I hope to do it again."
Makenna R., 11 years old
"While making leashes, we were able to experience math, writing, critical thinking, community building and had a lot of fun doing it! Aaron is terrific with the kids and imparts some very useful knowledge. Recommended."
5th Grade Teacher, Johnny P.
"I learned how to make a leash and more about pet responsibility and ownership."
Beck, 10 years old
"I learned why a dog should have a collar or microchip and how to approach a dog respectfully."
Majority, 10 years old
"Aaron did such a great job catering to all of our different kiddos in our See Beautiful club at International Community School. You can definitely tell he has teaching experience!...He...went over the leash making directions very clearly for all of our different leveled learners and ESOL students. We definitely want to continue partnering with such an awesome organization!"
Katelynn V., Counselor at ICS, Decatur GA
"...the students and I loved your passionate in-service, highlighting our standards based estimation and measurement skills! Thank you for being an inspiration to future leaders...The kids adored you!"
Robin P., Gifted Education Specialist
"I love this program so much. It was worth coming out in the rain for."
Christopher, 4 years old
Atlanta Rescue Dog Cafe is so fortunate to enjoy the support of many organizations, businesses, and individuals. We know that "It takes a village," to effect change, and we couldn't achieve all that we do in the community without their generosity.
Because of the support of the above businesses and organizations, as well as generous individuals, we've been able to work with such amazing schools and groups as:
- Friends School of Atlanta
- In the City Camp
- Shallowford Elementary
- St. Martin's School
- Covenant House
- Congregation Or Hadash
- Huntley Hills Elementary
- Atlanta Fulton Public Libraries
- Kingsley Elementary School
- JCC Camps
- Georgia Tech
- Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts of Atlanta
- International Community School
- Garden Hills Elementary
- Cheatham Hill Elementary
- Bells Ferry Elementary
- Temple Sinai
- SarahCare Senior Care
- Green Acres Elementary
- Emory University
- Powers Ferry Elementary
- Congregation Gesher L'Torah
- DeKalb County Libraries
- Henderson Mill Elementary
- Eastvalley Elementary
- Inman Park Cooperative Preschool
- International Preschool
- The Ascent Project
- Agnes Scott College
- Trinity School
- Mount Paran Christian School
- Homeless Pet Clubs
- Jewish Kids Group
- SoulShine Early Childhood
- Altruistic Day Care for Seniors (Tucker)
- Boys and Girls Club of Metro Atlanta
- Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School
- Children's Museum of Atlanta
- Midtown International School
- The Westminster School
- Midvale Elementary School
- ideas United
- and many other schools, organizations and businesses.
Please show these wonderful folks some love.
We love it when we get good press. Please check out the links below that highlight who we are and all the good we're doing in the community to promote responsible pet care, humane animal practices, and the importance of preventive education.
- Activists are Ending Animal Cruelty through Education - iheartdogs.com (February 2020)
- Atlanta Rescue Dog Cafe Makes Leashes for Homeless Pets - 11 Alive News - NBC Affiliate (January 16, 2020)
- Atlanta Nonprofit Works with Kids to Reduce Number of Animals That End up in Shelters - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (January 6, 2020)
Non-profit Attempts to Teach the Dog Rescue System Some New Tricks - 11 Alive News (December 31, 2019)
- Alumnus Nonprofit Rescue Cafe Barks for Change in Atlanta - The Emory Wheel (December 4, 2019)
- Meet Aaron Fisher of Atlanta Rescue Dog Cafe - VoyageATL Magazine (January 2, 2019)
Atlanta Rescue Dog Cafe: Bettering the Community and its Animals Through Education - Her Campus, Emory University (September 26, 2018)
Program Aims to Teach Dog Safety to Kids - CBS 46 News (June 19, 2018)
Going to the Dogs—Nonprofit Offers Tips on Responsible Animal Care - The Champion (July 31, 2018)
Nonprofit Helps People, Pets, and the Planet - Atlanta Jewish Times (June 28, 2018)
Coffee & Canines: Q&A with Aaron Fisher of Atlanta Rescue Dog Cafe - Georgia's Own NXT Magazine (July 10, 2018)
MLK Service with Many Smiles - January 15th - Atlanta Jewish Times (January 16, 2018)
- Local Nonprofit Seeks to Improve Human-Animal Interaction - Ponce Press (March 6, 2018)
- Community Arts Live – Good Gracious Show - (our very first podcast; we're on at about minute 31!)
We also love getting major awards. We're honored to have received the following:
And being chosen for: