Since the DeKalb Animal Services Task Force report was accepted and embraced by the DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis in March of 2012, very little progress has occurred inside the current shelter. After much research and soul-searching, many DeKalb Animal Advocates are now convinced that outsourcing the animal services operation is the only way to achieve significant meaningful change in a short period of time.
If Animal Services were to be outsourced to a knowledgeable, not-for-profit whose own mission is lifesaving with documented, successful experience in animal sheltering and home-finding, we stand a far better chance of making the significant shift toward humane care and successful home-based outcomes than if we continue the status quo. The status quo perpetuates the conditions outlined in the Task Force report that were characterized as a “chamber of horrors” including high euthanasia and low adoption rates, a kennel rife with filth and disease, and ill-equipped and untrained officers and staff.
I want you, the leaders of DeKalb County, to outsource DeKalb Animal Services to a not-for-profit whose mission is is lifesaving with documented, successful experience in animal sheltering and home-finding
DeKalb County began the outsourcing process by publicizing a request for proposals. But, you have stopped short of moving forward. The management, operations, working conditions, and the facility itself at DeKalb Animal Services will remain status quo unless something changes.
As of today, there are still serious issues at DeKalb County Animal Services and there seems to be no leadership within the County for addressing the ongoing problems.
• Staffing remains a problem. There are now fewer employees working at the shelter than when the CEO and commissioners agreed to hire more. There are 4 vacated positions, 2 of these were new hires. Additionally, 2 long term employees are on FMLA leave . According to national standards to care for about 400 companion animals that are housed in the shelter right now, there should be a minimum of 13 employees. Currently, there are only 8 kennel employees and 2 of these were hired as adoption coordinators.
• Field officers are often pulled from their duties to work in the kennel area which is now very understaffed. As a result strays are not being picked up and calls are often unanswered.
• Hiring of new employees is taking too long. Only 2 of the vacated positions are being filled right now. Their hiring process will take at least 2 months.
• Once hired, new employees are not receiving proper training on basic shelter operations.
• Mold is reappearing in the shelter due to a continued drainage problem. The mold that was once painted over (but not removed) is now starting to reappear.
What will it take to truly help the animals in DeKalb's care? OUTSOURCE ALL of Animal Services NOW!
Thank you for your time.