Questions linger over Clayton County animal shelter - CBS46 News

Questions linger over Clayton County animal shelter

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Frustrated animal lovers want to know what's taking Clayton County so long to build a new animal shelter.

"It's extremely frustrating because it's unnecessary that dogs and cats are dying," said Amy Adams, co-founder of Partners for Pets, an animal rescue organization.

According to officials with the Clayton County Animal Control shelter, 13 animals were euthanized last week, due to a lack of space, although overall, their euthanasia rates are down 80 percent.

The county allocated $4.1 million to build a larger facility in 2009, but so far, construction has not started.

According to Jeff Turner, chairman of the Clayton County Commission, building a new shelter has been a top priority of his since taking office in December 2012. "For whatever reason, and I'm not going to second-guess the previous administration, this project was not done," he said.

Turner said the previous administration designated the land next to the current shelter for the new facility. However, this year the county discovered that site is on a landfill. "After doing that study, it was clear that would be cost-prohibitive for us to build the shelter at that location."

Turner said the county is now surveying land in Ellenwood near the location of a future police precinct. Those survey results are expected in two weeks. Once the commission gives the project the go-ahead, he said it would take another 12-18 months for construction.

The money originally allocated for the project, according to Turner, is still there. However, he said, due to inflation, it won't stretch as far as it would have five years ago. "We're doing everything we can, but you have to be realistic about it too."

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