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DeKalb CEO announces $10 million plan to address animal shelter overcrowding

DeKalb County Trending

DeKalb CEO announces $10 million plan to address animal shelter overcrowding

A kennel at the DeKalb County animal shelter. Photo provided to Decaturish

This story has been updated.

DeKalb County, GA — DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond has announced a $10 million plan to address overcrowding at the DeKalb Animal Shelter, $7.5 million of which would be funded by the special purpose local option sales tax. SPLOST will be on the ballot to be approved by voters on Nov. 7.

The DeKalb County Animal Services Advisory Committee received a bleak report about the status of the county’s animal shelter at their meeting Sept. 21.

Animal intakes have increased year over year since 2020, while adoptions have dropped off.

The shelter, which is run by the LifeLine Animal Project, had 1,963 animals in its custody as of Sept. 21, the majority of which are dogs. There are 1,183 animals in foster homes, including 675 dogs.

The remaining 677 are in a facility designed for 250 dogs. LifeLine founder and CEO Rebecca Guinn said that with expansions, the shelter can be stretched to hold 500 dogs, “but not efficiently.”

“The problem is whatever we estimate, there’s more need,” said Guinn.

For more details on the overcrowding crisis at the shelter, click here.

In a press release announcing his plan to address overcrowding, Thurmond said, “Residents who lack the financial resources to properly care for their pets are fueling the overcrowding crisis at our animal shelter.”

The county commission approved the following initiatives to reduce overcrowding at a meeting in September:

— $200,000 to establish grant pilot programs to encourage fostering of animals and to aid pet owners to feed and care for their pets.

— $144,000 for a mobile veterinary clinic to provide veterinary services to areas most in need.

— $223,000 to purchase cages and an upgraded camera system for the animal shelter.

— $25,000 for community outreach related to expansion of the animal shelter.

— $600,000 for the LifeLine Animal Project to increase contract to attract and retain more staffing.

— $1.6 million for an overflow facility for the animal shelter.

“CEO Thurmond’s strategy also includes a $7.5 million proposed allocation to be funded by a special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST) subject to voter approval in November,” the press release from Thurmond’s office says.

The county did not provide a list of projects that would be paid for with the $7.5 million, but the money would be used on projects to reduce overcrowding at the shelter.

Sara Amis contributed reporting to this story. 

The DeKalb County Animal Shelter. Photo provided to Decaturish

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