People continue bringing animals to Decatur shelter - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

People continue bringing animals to Decatur shelter

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The shelter has a significantly higher cat population. The shelter has a significantly higher cat population.
DECATUR, AL (WAFF) -

More pets were adopted from Decatur Animal Services over the weekend, but they are being brought in just as fast as they go out. The facility is working to reduce its capacity after a directive from the mayor over health concerns.

DAS volunteers expect the controversy to come up during Monday night's Decatur City Council meeting. Mayor Don Kyle's order to cut down on the number of animals in the facility has caused a stir in the community.

Volunteers at DAS have been working hard all weekend to get dozens of dogs and cats adopted.

"It was non-stop people all [Saturday] adopting. I have never seen anything like it in the three and a half years I've been volunteering," said Susie Burgess.

Saturday morning, the facility started out with 278 animals. 14 pets found new homes, however, nine more were brought in, including six pigs.

At the end of the day, the shelter was left with 273 animals, a net decrease of only five.

"It's disheartening when you are sending animals out the door, and they come back in at the same rate, but I'm not sure after the fact that people have a lot of choice. What people need to learn from this is to spay and neuter their pets," Burgess said.

The shelter was closed Sunday, but volunteers were still hard at work, bringing adoptable animals to a special event at a Decatur church.

The increased effort to move animals out comes after an order from Mayor Don Kyle to cut back on the number of animals from 300 to 45 within 30 days. Some said this could put the lives of many adoptable animals at stake.

"I think it was a little extreme, and I think the public outcry has reached him. We are hoping he will compromise on that a little," said Burgess.

Mayor Kyle said his directive is not about killing animals but addressing health concerns. He said the facility has allowed the number of animals to accumulate to the point of being unmanageable and filthy.

"I have never directed mass euthanization of animals. I have directed that we get the numbers down so the animals, the people who work there, and the people who visit there are in a cleaner environment.

Kyle said his order is not a reduction of animals "at all costs." He asked the facility to let him know if they can reach a manageable number in 30 days.

A shelter volunteer attributes the accumulation to a boom in the cat population and large summer litters. The shelter has significantly more cats than dogs, all of whom need new homes.

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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