How To Save A Life.... * TonboMai

How To Save A Life….

Posted By tonbomai on Sep 5, 2012

At TonboMai,we hold ourselves to a high ethical standard and as such, we expect nothing less from the individuals that we promote. In light of recent discoveries, TonboMai can no longer, in good conscience, promote Ms. Mcatlin. As always, we wish this individual nothing but the best.

 Barbara Jean McAtlin leads a life of service. It has not always been convenient or easy but to hear her speak, she would never have it any other way.

As the economy crashed in 2009, Barbara Jean and her husband had no choice but to say goodbye to their home and farm in Utah and move into a 35’ camper in Arizona, but they were not alone, along with them came 8 dogs and 2 cats. One of those dogs, Bronko, was dying of throat cancer. Hard but unselfish decisions soon followed. The heartbreaking decision had to be made to end Bronko’s suffering, rehome her two youngest pups, Kimba and Jax, and find a cat rescue to take her cats.


Not long after Kimba and Jax were rehomed, Barbara Jean’s beloved beagle mix, Haley, became very ill. Haley was brought in after Hurricane Katrina. She was deaf, heartworm positive, but, as Barbara put it, “The sweetest dog ever.” Barbara Jean was still getting on her feet and could not afford the vet bill. Desperate, she sent out “please help” emails to a group of people who work with Goldens. Before she knew it, her bill was paid with one simple request and that was for her to pay it forward.


Since that time, she has paid the $500 vet bill back and then some, but she has no regrets. As she puts it, “You can never pay back kindness without giving kindness away.”

The help that she received in rehoming her pets, as well as the help with Haley’s vet bill was a defining point in her life. It has led her down a path that has helped numerous dogs find homes and people find forever friends.

Throughout the years of volunteering, she has crossed paths with many wonderful dogs and helped them find homes. A few, however, have found their way not only into her heart but her home as well.

It was while volunteering at a kill shelter that a little pitbull/Basenji mix named Tawney did just that. At that time, Barbara Jean, was losing her dog Heidi and had just three more (Bentley, Cuervo and Rimby) at home. In no time Tawney had taken her place in the pack and in Barbara Jean’s heart.

Through working with the kill shelter, Barbara Jean made the decision to save as many dogs as she could. As she puts it:

“Volunteering at the kill shelter only firmed up my resolve to rescue as many dogs as I could. It was so unfair to the dogs who had never had medical care or shots or decent food to be dropped off at the shelter as “strays” only to be put to death alone and in fear after the mandatory three day stray hold because their ‘finders’ (owners) thought they were ‘just a dog’ and disposable. Watching dogs being put to death because they were no longer cute little puppies, or because they had never been trained, or because they had been used as bait dogs, or because they were sick from illnesses that simple vaccines or medications could have cured, made me sick. It also made me strong. It made me angry. I sat with many of these dogs when they were being put to death just so they would know that SOMEONE cared.”

Barbara Jeans’s life has changed greatly since 2009. She now has a home and is a successful graphic designer and business owner. But one thing has remained constant: Her commitment to giving back. This is reflected not only in her personal life but her business practices as well. She has designated that 25 % of profits from her company go towards dog rescues, children’s causes, and the Challenged Athletes Foundation. She also volunteers for a wonderful organization called Helping Orphaned Hounds. Through HOH, she recently brought Mocha, a 5 month old weimaraner, into her home as a foster.

You can find Barbara Jean’s website at


The wonderful organization she works with is Helping Orphaned Hounds. You can find it here


If you are interested in fostering, Barbara Jean encourages you to contact her friend Rhonda at


She also helps a friend raise money for the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) by donating marketing materials design. Find out more here:


Barbara Jean is also heavily involved in the Cameron T. Haselhorst Foundation’s Golf Tournament to Benefit St.Joe’s PICU. The Foundation recently completed a new family waiting room as well as renovations to the nurse’s station and PICU ward.