• Rat infestation forcing renovation at animal shelter

    By: Sophia Choi

    Updated:

    ATLANTA - The Fulton County Animal Shelter is dealing with a rat problem. But to get rid of them, they need your help.

    The shelter is planning a renovation to get rid of the vermin, but that means all of the animals need to go.

    Channel 2’s Sophia Choi met with Jim Loisel, who just gained a new furry family member, a Great Pyrenees dog.

    The adoption was free on Tuesday.

    “There’s so many dogs that need to be rescued,” Loisel said.

    Lifeline Animal Project runs the Fulton County Animal Shelter, which is offering free adoptions through the Super Bowl.


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    “We have hundreds of pets that are already ready to leave the building. That means they’re vaccinated, they’re spayed and neutered, they have a microchip. So, they can go home with you today for free,” said Karen Hirsch with Lifeline Animal Project.

    The shelter says there are more than 500 dogs and 60 plus cats that they’re calling MVPs, or most valuable pets.

    The county wants to clear the animal cages, so crews can get to work clearing the ceilings. That’s where the rats are living.

    “We’re getting rid of all the tiles and the structure that’s holding it,” Hirsch said. “We’re going to have an open kind of concept area, that way rats can’t live up in the ceilings anymore.”

    Choi said they did not see any rats while at the shelter, but Channel 2 Action News found a dead rat when we first reported on the problems in November.

    The problem is so bad that maggots eating on dead rats are dropping from the ceiling onto employees.

    It’s a serious health situation, one that the county wants to address immediately.

    Loisel said he did his part by adopting on Tuesday.

    “Just come down here and experience what these dogs go through and you’ll probably want to take one of them home,” Loisel said.

    The renovation is just the start. Right now, the county is working on a feasibility study to get rid of the shelter and build a new one for a better home for all these animals.

    Lifeline Animal Project is also offering the free adoption deal at its shelters in DeKalb County and Avondale Estates.

    They told Choi that those shelters are stuffed with cats and dogs who need good homes.

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