Marla’s Fund

About Marla’s Fund

Lake Lanier Humane League is affiliated with Marla’s Fund.

The founders of Marla’s Fund joined with other area rescue workers to found Lake Lanier Humane League. Together, they work diligently to serve the needs of North Georgia’s homeless pets.

This page provides information about Marla’s Fund as a courtesy.


img_marla_logoMarla’s Fund was established in 2001 with the purpose of treating heartworm-positive rescue animals that would otherwise be euthanized.

We are located on the north side of Atlanta, Georgia. We also assist heartworm-positive rescue dogs throughout the Southeast.

Rescue organizations are very limited on the funds allotted to each animal. Animals that come to rescue with severe injuries, illnesses or diseases such as heartworms are euthanized for the simple reason that the money is not there to treat the animal.

Rescue organizations often do fundraisers for special case animals that need treatment. It is up to the community to offer their support to cure these animals and avoid the alternative of putting the animal to sleep. In some cases, as with Marla, the community goes so far above and beyond what that one dog needs that they end up saving many animals’ lives and inspiring other communities to respond in similar altruistic ways.

Marla’s Story

Marla, the namesake for this organization, was a Rhodesian Ridgeback mix who ran wild in Cumming, GA. An Animal Control Officer caught her, but Marla, knowing what might lie in store for her in Animal Control, escaped from the officer and sought refuge in a nearby neighborhood. She proceeded to have a litter of puppies that she hid in a barn in the neighborhood. The children in the area figured out there were puppies in the barn and began sneaking food up to the starving Marla, so the pups could grow strong and healthy. When the children’s parents discovered what the children were doing, they helped with bringing food and water to the mother dog and puppies.


Marla’s Puppy: Jewels

When the puppies had weaned from their mother, Marla did a most peculiar thing. Marla deposited her puppies at the homes of the children who had brought her food. Every day after, Marla was seen visiting the homes where her pups were and looking in the windows, checking that her babies were okay.

Marla was once again caught by Animal Control. However, she was not taken to Animal Control but to a waiting foster family for a nearby rescue group. When the foster family took Marla to the Vet, they found out she had heartworms, a lethal infestation of worms in the right ventricle of the heart. At that time, it was policy for most rescue organizations to euthanize heartworm positive dogs rather than put the dog through the expensive and dangerous treatment.

The families that had helped Marla and her puppies were notified of the reality of the situation. It was the children who fought back!

The children all banded together. They pooled their allowance, bought supplies, and set to work. They set up signs everywhere to advertise their intent and people came from miles around to buy the lemonade and have their cars washed by these selfless children. The local news network even came out to find out what was going on with these children in Cumming, GA. The children alone earned five times the amount necessary to treat Marla, and the publicity they inspired brought in even more.

Marla was saved because a group of children, aged 5 to 11, decided that her life was more important than allowance or playing kickball after school. Marla’s puppies all grew to be healthy, happy dogs and were all adopted into loving homes because these children thought it more important to carry buckets of water to an abandoned barn than to watch TV and eat a snack in the comfort of their own homes.

These children reminded so many of us what really matters in life.

Marla’s foster family took the proceeds from the efforts of the children and started a fund. Marla’s Fund exists for the animals. Those special dogs, whose only fault is that they did not have owners who cared enough to give them an inexpensive, once-a-month pill to prevent them contracting heartworms, now have an opportunity for a second chance. Marla’s fund covers half the cost of heartworm treatment for rescue dogs who have sponsors. The sponsor may be a rescue group or the community or one person who really cares. Although the sponsoer(s) could be anyone, the dog being treated must be registered with a legitimate rescue group.


Lucky, Treated for Heartworms May 2005

Marla’s Fund has helped dozens of dogs from several rescue groups in North Georgia and Tennesseeand will continue to reach out to those animals in need so long as the communities continue to support the fund. We cannot thank the communities enough for their continued support and the children who inspired it all.

Beth and Bill Mulrooney and their daughter Andrea, the founders of Marla’s Fund are members and volunteers for a number of rescue organizations.

Since the founding of Marla’s Fund, the size and scope of the fund has changed. Although the focus of Marla’s Fund is still providing means for rescue dogs to be treated of heartworms rather than face the alternative, the Fund is no longer able to directly contribute to as many animals far and wide. We do offer fundraising tips to other organizations and try and teach other groups how to cover the costs and recruit foster homes for these special cases. Marla’s Fund now works closely with several rescue groups, such as Lake Lanier Humane League and St. Francis Rescue, Inc., that are willing to take on heartworm positive dogs.

Marla’s Fund is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, tax-exempt organization. All donations are tax-deductible.