DeKalb County

DeKalb CEO says county may need to rethink no-kill policy at LifeLine animal shelter

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — DeKalb County’s CEO says it may be time to rethink the no-kill policy at its animal shelter.

Currently, every cage is full at the DeKalb Animal Shelter in Chamblee.

County leaders told Channel 2 investigative reporter Sophia Choi that it is a symptom of a bigger root problem: inflation.

Dekalb County said inflation is causing more families to make a heartbreaking choice.

“Do I feed my family, or do I feed my pet?” said DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond.

That has led to thousands of families giving up their pets, and leading to major overcrowding at shelters.

The problem is getting so out of hand, Thurmond told Choi that he now plans to meet with LifeLine Animal Project next week to revisit its no-kill policy.

Lifeline is the company contracted to run DeKalb’s animal shelters.


“We need to revisit the policy because, at some point, overcrowding becomes inhumane,” Thurmond said.

In the meantime, the CEO said the county is investing upstream, by setting aside $10 million to help curb the number of animals coming through these doors.

That money will provide financially struggling families, free pet food, and a mobile vet clinic that will go out into the community.

Some of that $10 million will go toward temporary annexes to the shelter to house more animals.

The county is also asking voters to pass a $7.5 million dollar SPLOST in November to permanently expand the shelter.

But Thurmond said unless you address the underlying financial issue of inflation, no amount of space will ever be enough.

“Unless we reduce the number of pets that are being turned loose or brought to the shelter, we’ll never get in front of this problem,” Thurmond said.

LifeLine Animal Project is holding its “Healthy Pets DeKalb” event on Octo. 28, at Wade Walker Park.

They’ll have free supplies, vaccines, and microchipping services.