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.”
13,355 total views, 2 views today