Life and death could come down to dollars, cents at animal shelt - CBS46 News

Life and death could come down to dollars, cents at animal shelter

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(Source: WGCL) (Source: WGCL)

CBS46 is asking questions about a recent change at a metro Atlanta animal shelter.

We wanted to know what impact the chance to save lives of more animals could have on your tax dollars. We're checking on how public money is being spent in Fayette County, where life and death could come down to dollars and cents.

Just under 30 dogs and more than 40 cats are calling the Fayette County Animal Shelter home. So we question a county leader on the commissioners' decision to keep these animals alive longer.

A boxer mix named Yodel has been at the shelter for more than three months. And despite county commissioners voting 4-1 in favor of widening the euthanasia window for cats and dogs at the shelter, Yodel and others like him could still be put down if they're not adopted.

"There's a balancing act and we're in it," says Commissioner Randy Ognio. "One week we picked up 12 animals. We don't have but 26 cages so you have to have capacity, otherwise you're going to have to euthanize immediately."

Ognio explained the old policy gave stray animals a six day time span before they possibly could be put down. But last week, commissioners approved a policy shift allowing animals to be at the facility for 30 days.

The shelter must also be at 75 percent capacity before any humane killings can happen. We checked and the shelter is currently at 100 percent capacity.

We also wanted to know what impact keeping the animals alive longer could mean for taxpayer dollars.

"There's roughly 500,000 this year budgeted for this facility," says Ognio. "We have citizens come up and tell us, 'Well we want you to spend more of our tax money on the shelter,' but they'll be the first ones down there when we say we got to raise your taxes."

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