Residents, advocates upset about county’s stalling on animal services facility

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Animal advocates and DeKalb County residents have expressed concern that the county is dragging its feet in approving a plan for a new animal shelter slated to be built next year.

Wardell Castles, a member of the 12-person DeKalb County Animal Services Advisory Committee, said commissioners have cancelled the past two committee meetings in which the item was to be discussed.

“We are getting increasingly frustrated with the lack of progress and believe the county is providing nothing but lip service to the new shelter, albeit even just little of that,” Castles said.

Castles said interim DeKalb County CEO Lee May’s administration is expected to make its recommendation on a shelter plan at the Board of Commissioners’ next committee of the whole meeting June 17.

According to Sonali Sandaine, chairwoman of the animal services advisory board, the county has repeatedly pushed back the date. More importantly, Sandaine said, the county is “undermining” the recommendations of a county task force report, the advisory board and Lifeline Animal Project, which operates the current shelter facility and will take over operations of the new facility once it is built.

“CEO May’s administration is attempting to push forward a low-cost option that would actually be less in capacity than the current shelter and lead to more euthanasia in the county,” Sandaine said. “Animal advocates within the county are up in arms and organizing email and phone call campaigns to reach out to May.”

Sandaine said May’s administration has made many promises that have been broken.

“He talks about transparency, but nothing is transparent, including the timeline for the new facility,” Sandaine said. “DeKalb [residents] want to know why he has broken his promises to improve animal services. Already hundreds of people have written to him without a response.”

County spokesman Burke Brennan said that May’s recommendation must be approved by the Board of Commissioners and “there remains varying opinions between all of the stakeholders on what the best option should be.”

“We can’t move forward until one is selected,” Brennan said. “We have another presentation scheduled…June 17.  Hopefully we will have a clearer idea on a consensus then.”

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11 thoughts on “Residents, advocates upset about county’s stalling on animal services facility

  • June 12, 2014 at 2:50 pm
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    PETA and all other residents of DeKalb County are to blame for the deaths of tens of thousands of dogs. Anybody that believes one word from these DeKalb Commissioners or Lee May should have their head examined !!!
    PETA completely dropped the ball on this one !!!
    PETA completely dropped the ball on this one !!!
    Trusting Stan Watson, what were you thinking ???
    And Kathie Gannon and Larry Johnson only care about one three things, County Paycheck and Medical Coverage and sticking us for their “free meals” and that’s it !!!

    Reply
    • June 13, 2014 at 9:50 am
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      How in the world can Snoopy Dog can blame PETA when it’s the DeKalb Commissioners who have steadfastly REFUSED to ACT on this issue for DECADES? Many of the people who have been advocating for change are PETA members. It sure isn’t PETA who is responsible for the continuous breeding of animals in DeKalb county. The citizens of DeKalb County who refuse to spay and neuter their dogs and cats MUST share in the blame…and the shame. Shame on the DeKalb Commissioners who continue to ignore the suffering of so many innocent and helpless lives. Put the blame where it belongs – not on PETA but on the breeders and the DO NOTHING COMMISSIONERS!

      Reply
  • Pingback:Dunwoody News | Dekalb residents dissatisfied with delays on new animal shelter

  • June 13, 2014 at 10:54 pm
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    I am full of frustration and anger. DeKalb County Comissioners and the CEO vote to build a new shelter and know they can delay it almost forever with red tape inherent in the DeKalb governance system. They claim they don’t have the money to build the shelter needed to provide the care our animals need and deserve. They claim that they have to be vigilent with taxpayer money. Yet they use taxpayer money to pay a suspended CEO and other suspended employees full salary.They use taxpayer money to charge vacations, home decorations, and other personal treats with taxpayer money. It’s time to elect our leaders who value honesty and duty over greed and power. Enough is enough.

    Reply
  • June 13, 2014 at 10:56 pm
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    I am full of frustration and anger. DeKalb County Comissioners and the CEO vote to build a new shelter and know they can delay it almost forever with red tape inherent in the DeKalb governance system. They claim they don’t have the money to build the shelter needed to provide the care our animals need and deserve. They claim that they have to be vigilent with taxpayer money. Yet they use taxpayer money to pay a suspended CEO and other suspended employees full salary.They use taxpayer money to charge vacations, home decorations, and other personal treats with taxpayer money. It’s time to elect leaders who value honesty and duty over greed and power. Enough is enough.

    Reply
  • June 14, 2014 at 9:36 am
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    Lee May needs to go ahead NOW and lead – lead in a way that will demonstrate that his commitment was real – commitment to build a decent shelter. With so many people now doubting even more the integrity of the Dekalb BOC, his move to recommend Option 1 or 2 would help restore some faith in the syetem.

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  • June 14, 2014 at 6:20 pm
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    DeKalb County animals and the residents of DeKalb County deserve a shelter in line with the recommendations of the task force, the Advisory Board and Lifeline Animal Project, but it seems that this administration is choosing to look the other way. We have heard one excuse after another – money – not enough information – need more time to study the recommendations. The county has drug and is dragging it’s feet, and the animals are still suffering in the same old miserable building. If the taxpayers of DeKalb are ever going to believe their elected officials, then they have to do the right thing – stop delaying and foot dragging. Lee May needs to recommend either option 1 or 2, and build the shelter that was PROMISED.

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  • June 15, 2014 at 8:37 am
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    The lack of leadership from the CEO and Commissioners and their indifference to the animals’ plight is shameful neglect.
    No more delays! Commit to Option 1 or 2 on June 17th and
    build the new shelter!

    Reply
  • June 16, 2014 at 3:17 pm
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    I am a dekalb county resident and shelter volunteer. When I was at the shelter last week to walk dogs, we struggled a great deal to even open one of the cages because the cage door was broken. There were 3 dogs in the cage, making it extremely difficult to get 1 dog out to walk. I strongly support a new shelter with adequate space for the animals.

    Reply
  • June 16, 2014 at 8:53 pm
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    PETA raised unholy hell on Bull Hooks in a Circus while tens of thousands of dogs and cats were dying in DeKalb County, PERIOD !!!
    I was at the meetings and saw you listening to the lies of Stan Watson and Lee May and I will stand toe to toe with Lee May and call him a liar all day long because he is one, PERIOD !
    Well, the FEDS are on our much beloved DeKalb Commissioners now like white on rice = Outright theft on their P-Cards.
    Lets hope that before long our Director of Greenspace and Park Bond MONIES and Jeff Rader are having a Discussion with The FEDS over all this land that The Commissioners purchased at top dollar during a great recession ???
    Millions gone there that would have paid for a New Shelter. All of the MONIES stolen out of RECORDERS COURT would have also paid for a New Shelter ???

    Reply
  • June 17, 2014 at 3:42 pm
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    The Committee of the Whole, held by OUR County Commissioners was a farce this morning. Commissioner Barnes-Sutton continues to go back into an $8M funding world that never really existed. That level of funding was NEVER vetted by ANYONE. It has no quality and therefore should not even be brought up in any of these meetings. Let’s face it. If everything is relative, her spending $75K of her constituents’ money for UNACCOUNTABLE things represents a sizeable portion of her district’s funds and is grossly inappropriate. One would think that with her spending history, she would consider $12M should be a drop in the bucket. She has already spent more than her share for who knows what. She apparently doesn’t feel that she needs to be accountable for her spending patterns since she has no records to show how she spent HER PEOPLE’s hard earned money. How does she explain this? Five times the work? I am willing to apologize for my lack of empathy if I find that she has accomplished five times as much for her constituents. Otherwise, I find that comment shameful.

    All I want is for all of the Commissioners to realize that $8M was NEVER A REAL number. I want them to move forward with a county shelter that MEETS THE NEEDS of ALL CONSTITUENTS in DeKalb County even if it is ~$12M. If it’s done correctly, as everyone says that’s what they want, then LET’S JUST DO IT! Come on people. ROAR!

    Reply

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