Originally moving from Dunwoody to Alpharetta’s Windward Subdivision in 2001, Shawn and Ann Leveto were looking for a beautiful home with top-rated schools nearby to raise their son, an area with wonderful friends, natural beauty, and new charitable organizations they could enrich their lives with. That’s when they stumbled upon Furkids.
Furkids, headquartered in Atlanta, is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that operates the largest cage-free, no-kill shelter in the Southeast for cats and Sadie’s Place, a no-kill shelter for dogs. Furkids has rescued more than 50,000 animals since its founding in 2002 and houses more than 1200 animals through its shelters and foster programs today.
Shawn, the President/CEO of Realty Atlanta, Inc. real estate agency headquartered in Alpharetta, and Ann, an antique & interior design dealer at Queen of Hearts, adopted their dog Marley from Furkids in 2017. With Marley’s long wavy hair and infectious personality, it was love at first sight. But, their relationship with the organization started long before that.
Ten years ago, Shawn and Furkids founder Samantha Shelton chatted about a potential Furkids property in Alpharetta. While the original property didn’t pan out, Shawn and Ann began volunteering at Furkids. After adopting Marley, Ann was reading a story in a newspaper where Samantha was quoted describing her future aspirations for Furkids and her desire to find a property filled with walking trails and natural beauty. Shawn and Ann knew just the place and shared the old Wakoola Water Gardens property. Fast forward to 2018, Furkids embarked on its biggest endeavor and purchased the massive 9-acre sanctuary located near the Big Creek Greenway.
The vision is to eventually consolidate all the cat and dog operations at this new campus. The new headquarters not only houses hundreds of animals, but also offers additional land to build a new dog shelter, state-of-the-art medical facility, event space, and more.
This move for Furkids would not be possible without the Levetos, who officially signed onto the Furkids Advisory Board in 2018. For more information on Furkids, their adoptable animals, volunteer opportunities and ways you can donate, please visit Furkids.org