Rescue groups speak out about Clayton County animal shelter - CBS46 News

Rescue groups speak out about Clayton County animal shelter

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Animal rescue groups attended the Clayton County Commission meeting Tuesday night to highlight problems at the local animal shelter.

"Rescues are being turned away," said Kimberly Kirby, who recently joined the Georgia Homeless Pets Foundation. "Private citizens are being turned away. If you do get in, you do not get access to all of the animals."

Kirby said many people are also concerned about the kill rate at the shelter since a new director took over and procedures have changed. Numbers that CBS46 News obtained show 29 dogs were euthanized in June. That number jumped to 49 last month.

"I know more animals can be saved if we work together," Kirby said. "Look at the kill rate before these past two months and then look at the past two months' kill rate. It's done a complete 180."

The Clayton County police chief said the facility is working with more rescue groups to get animals adopted and assured no healthy dogs are euthanized.

"We're putting down dogs that a trained medical person, who's working with us, has identified as being unadoptable, ill or faces some other challenges," Chief Greg Porter said.

Porter said the shelter no longer uses the "heart stick" method, a slow and painful procedure, to put animals down.

"We're using a licensed veterinarian, who's administering a medical procedure which we believe to be humane,"Porter said. "We have challenges like any other facility but at the end of the day, we want to do what's in the best interest of the taxpayers, the pet owners and the community as a whole."

Rescue groups said they would like to see a private company take over the shelter. Porter said that is a decision that the county commission would have to make.

Animal lovers said they will continue to fight for improvements at the troubled shelter.

"I love animals," Kirby said. "They're voiceless, and we need to be their voice."

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