Hundreds of Decatur shelter animals at risk of euthanasia - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Hundreds of Decatur shelter animals at risk of euthanasia

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DECATUR, AL (WAFF) -

The mayor of Decatur said health concerns have forced him to order Decatur Animal Services to reduce its capacity from 300 animals down to 45, which could put the lives of many adoptable animals at stake.

Mayor Don Kyle said the service's management has allowed the number of animals accumulated in the facility to get so large that a significant amount of filth, odor and disease is present.

DAS reported the shelter houses 284 animals as of Friday. Since Tuesday, they have taken in 22 animals. 28 have been adopted out, rescued or reclaimed. 20 animals have been euthanized. On close of business Friday, 19 more animals had been adopted, but four more had come in.

Director of Animal Services Carol Wicks called this week "a nightmare." She's hopeful people will show up and adopt all of the animals at risk. She is not sure what brought on the order from the mayor's office but said it has sparked concerns.

The animal shelter had many more people than usual apply for adoption this morning since word got out.

"I'm pretty upset. I've called the mayor; I've shared a bunch of posts on Facebook. It's really sad to put that many animals down," said adoptive animal lover Emily Murphy.

In a statement, Mayor Kyle said:

Animal Services management has allowed the number of animals accumulated in the facility to get so large that significant filth, odor, and disease is a constant.  Staff size is not sufficient to properly care for the animals or accurately keep records.  This has to change for the sake of the animals and the humans that go through the facility.  I have not ordered mass euthanasia to reach greatly reduced levels.  I have ordered an aggressive time frame to reduce numbers, and suggested that staffers use all their contacts to move animals out.  Anything you may have heard, contrary to this statement is inaccurate.

Kyle said, "The untendable part of the situation is the building stays filthy. The odors are way beyond what they ought to be. When a disease breaks out, it spreads rapidly among dozens of animals."

Kyle suggested that staffers use all their contacts to move animals out. He said he asked the director to let him know what can or cannot be done.

Decatur Animal Services is located on 300A Beltline Road Southwest, and is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. For more information, visit their website.

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