Report: DeKalb animal shelter a 'chamber of horror'

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — A community task force is investigating what it said are disturbing conditions at a DeKalb animal shelter.

Channel 2's Jeff Dore spoke to the community task force that studied the shelter, which they call underfunded and understaffed.

"There are a lot of things in that building that I think would really disturb people," Rebecca Guinn, a task force member, said.

Dore submitted an open records request to the DeKalb CEO office, where the records request has been for more than two weeks. But task force members discussed the contents of the report, describing that the administrative areas inside the shelter were an embarrassment. Meanwhile, the kennel areas were deemed an abomination, and a chamber of horrors, Dore said.

Dore said he saw cockroaches up-close and personal during his Monday visit at the facility, where the report said the walls are sometimes black with a thick layer of insects. The procedures manual is outdated, disregarded, and understaffing sometimes results in puppies and kittens left to die, Dore said.

"It really comes down to not having adequate personnel to take care of the animals," Guinn said.

The task force said the shelter doesn't have enough people to run a successful adoption program.

"In some communities, 90 percent of the animals that go into the animal control system leave that system alive. In DeKalb, it's more like 30 or 40 percent," Guinn said.

In the situation of feral cats, workers euthanize them by holding them down with a foot on the back, sometimes breaking their bones, reported Dore. Fixing the issue would require more money for more staff and a new building, competing for money in the budget, he said.

When asked to discuss the county's perspective, DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis deferred to interview about the matter until Tuesday.