Dozens of animal advocates in DeKalb County are seeing red when it comes to the state of the current animal shelter, and they pressured county leaders to do something about it on Tuesday.
The group, Advocates for DeKalb Animals, wants the county to build a new animal shelter with $2.75 million in federal stimulus money on a 5-acre piece of land adjacent to the Peachtree-DeKalb Airport in Chamblee.
"Last November when Brookhaven incorporated, they lost federal stimulus money that was to go to a precinct there. That money has been attached, $2.75 million, has been attached to the peachtree-Dekalb Airport site for a new shelter," said Barbara Davis of the Advocates for DeKalb Animals.
The group claims that the current shelter off Memorial Drive, is killing extremely high numbers of animals. They specifically cite that over 3,000 animals were killed at the shelter last year alone. They say a newer, bigger facility would reduce that number.
Some commissioners in the past have voiced concern over the location of the proposed new site, which has delayed a vote on the issue.
"The location that the task force has recommended is on the northern part of the county and the question really is how much do we want it to be more centrally located, more neutral,' said DeKalb Commissioner Lee May.
The county appointed an advisory board to look into the matter about a year ago. After looking at more than 100 locations, ranking them on price, size, and other factors, it recommended the PDK site.
"It is closer to the communities that are interested in animal welfare issues, interested in volunteerism, interested in adopting pets," said Sonali Saindane, chairperson of the advisory board.
What has animal advocates infuriated, is that not only did the advisory board recommend the PDK site but they say the county gets that stimulus money if it builds the shelter there. That has critics questioning the commissioners' motives for what they see as a delay in making a decision.
"I'm not worrying about the animals so much anymore, I'm worrying about the people, the citizens of DeKalb County and how they're being jerked around. It's just not right. It's a game, There's a hidden agenda here," said Patricia Singer.
Some residents say they're concerned that if this continues to go back and forth any longer, they might lose the stimulus money all together. When May was asked about that, he said the commissioners would not let that happen.
The county tabled the vote until June 11.