A crowd of animal advocates attended the meeting, all wearing red and many wearing “Vote Yes PDK” stickers, and each stood as a member of the group addressed commissioners during public comment.
“The reasons for your delay are flimsy,” said Barbara Van Nostrand, animal advocate. “Animals are being used as pawns. This goes beyond ‘poor kitty.’”
The three animal shelter advocates who spoke at the meeting supported the Peachtree DeKalb Airport site for a new facility. The board of commission members will continue evaluating the site, which advocates said would they believe would draw the most volunteers.
“When I volunteer at DeKalb Animal Services, I’m often the only one there,” said Sue Kautz. “The need for more help is tremendous. The barking and cries make my heart shatter, and there’s feces and urine in cages and a lack of water.”
The scent reminds her of death, the former hospice nurse said.
“What I see at animal control is nothing like what I saw at hospice,” Kautz said. “Please vote yes today for PDK.”
The third advocate for the site, Barbara Davis, said additional studying was not necessary because the county could not do worse than the current conditions.
But the studying will continue, as an advisory committee, appointed by the commissioners, will work with Kennesaw State University to conduct surveys to determine which areas would bring the most volunteers, thus decreasing the number of animals euthanized, which District 2 Commissioner Jeff Rader said is 500 per month. The survey should take two weeks to conduct, pushing back the commissioners’ decision.
“The primary focus is to increase adoptions and decrease the euthanasia rate,” said Morris Williams III, board of commissioners’ chief of staff. “We need the survey to do that, and that’s where the delays have been.”
Williams said the advisory committee is considering the centrality, financial impact, volunteerism, likelihood of adoptions and cost of property. The committee will have the study completed and three site recommendations in June, he said.