The citizens of DeKalb County trust that our local government provides the highest quality care for the animals that end up at our county shelter. The problem is that the County does not provide even the basic necessities to the employees much less the animals of our shelter. DeKalb County has one of the oldest shelters in the state; it euthanizes over 60% (around 5,000 adoptable animals) a year and another 10% die or aren't accounted for. The shelter is dirty, filled with mold, standing water, contains roaches, rodents, and is plagued with poor insulation, poor air quality and sick animals.
Did you know that in 2010, there were 16 officers in the field and now there are only 8 officers working in the field? Why? Because the County CEO and Commissioners have not given the funds to Animal Control to replace them. Officers in the field are indispensable in the fight against animal cruelty, neglect, and in preventing the serious public safety issues that arise from our rampant over population of dogs and cats.
Only one person handles ALL the adoptions, volunteers, web postings, etc. The kennel itself only has 9 officers to feed, clean, exercise, and socialize 400 animals of every day of every year! These conditions and outcomes are tragic and should be addressed immediately.
Adding insult to injury, the CEO’s budget proposal for 2012 shows a 12% reduction in resources for Animal Services, a reduction much larger than other departments -from $3.2 million to the current proposal of $2.7 million. While some might cite a need to reduce expenses in the County as a rationale, Animal Services is already understaffed and under-resourced, the principle reason conditions and outcomes are so poor. This cut almost enters the realm of silly in that the entire budget for Animal Services is 1/2 of 1% of the entire county budget. Given the extraordinary needs in this area, outsized reductions are ridiculous!
Something must be done...IT IS TIME! Speak for the animals! Sign this petition asking that (1) the budget be restored to the 2011 level,(2) the operation changed to focus on finding homes rather than euthanasia and (3) to build a new shelter in 2012!
Restore the budget, focus on lifesaving, not euthanasia and build a new animal shelter:
It is disturbing that the 2012 budget further reduces the resources funding DeKalb Animal Services and Enforcement by another 12% from $3.2 million this past year to the current proposal of $2.7 million. This cut is much larger than other areas of government and the entire budget for Animal Services is 1/2 of 1% of the entire county budget. This is a big step in the wrong direction! Animal Control cannot properly address animal welfare and public safety issues without proper funding. Please reverse course!
I am petitioning you to (1) restore the budget back to the 2011 level, (2) change the focus to lifesaving and home-finding, prevention, rather than euthanasia and (3) to build for a new shelter for our county - one that is free of mold, mildew, standing water, horrid drainage, rodents, pests, and sick animals. We need a shelter that has appropriate air circulation and temperature control and one that encourages adoption by its image and location.
I ask you to step up to this challenge, and speak for the citizens and the animals in DeKalb County!