DeKalb commissioners table vote on ‘House of Horrors' shelter

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DECATUR, Ga. - DeKalb County commissioners have decided to table a decision on changes to an animal shelter that some call a “House of Horrors.”
   

Animal advocates showed up to a county commissioners meeting Tuesday hoping lawmakers would move forward with a larger, better site, but officials decided to hold off on making a decision.

"Animals are suffering and dying in a horrible, horrible condition in our shelter," one animal advocate told officials at the podium.

Dressed in red shirts, a sea of animal advocates and members of the county's Animal Services Advisory Board said the current county shelter is deplorable. They believe there's not enough staff to care for the animals and the facility doesn't meet common standards. More animals are euthanized than put up for adoption.

"We need you, our elected officials, to end the moral and ethical outrage surrounding animal services that has continued for over 10 years," another animal advocate said.

Outside, DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis told the protesters the county has made some progress, including hiring more temporary workers and trying to get a cooling system in place before summer.  But the advocates said their priority is to move the shelter to a new location near the DeKalb-Peachtree Airport.

"We're hoping that the board will move on that process today, and that will require a vote from the commission," Ellis told Channel 2’s Dave Huddleston.

But the commission decided to wait a month before making a decision on a new location.  The chair of the county's animal advisory board said for a year, they've talked about the same problems and still nothing has been done.

"Nothing has been done, nothing. Lots of promises, but we've been hearing the same promises for over a year," chairwoman Sonaly Saindone said

Saindone said despite the commissioners’ slow action, advocates will be back in two weeks dressed in red, speaking up once again for those who can't speak for themselves.