Decatur Mayor Asks Animal Services to Reduce Numbers, Volunteers Working to Find Homes

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DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) -- WHNT News 19 has received numerous phone calls and emails from viewers into our newsroom regarding a potential reduction in the number of animals that are housed at Decatur Animal Services. We took action and spoke with Decatur Mayor Don Kyle on Friday about the possibility. He said that he has asked for the numbers to be reduced.

"I have not ordered a mass killing of these animals to reduce the numbers," said Mayor Kyle. "I have ordered a very aggressive time frame to send the animals somewhere to get down to a manageable level."

Kyle told WHNT News 19 that the facility is overcrowded and that unfortunately means they need to reduce their numbers significantly. "We cannot keep up with 200, 300 dogs and cats in that facility," said Kyle. "It's not good for the animals that are there, it's not good for the humans that work there or the humans that come in and out of there."

Kyle said he met with the advisory board a few weeks ago and asked what the maximum number of animals should be kept in the facility with the current staffing numbers. "One of the vets said 20 cats and 25 dogs, now I know that's going to spike from time to time depending on probably the time of year and maybe the weather too."

Kyle has asked the operation to try and find new homes for their occupants over the next few weeks. He told WHNT News 19 that he is willing to work with Animal Services regarding the time frame, if it's not feasible. "I have not directed to just dispose these animals at any cost, but to get busy, and get busy fast," he said.

Volunteer Susie Burgess told WHNT News 19 that space at the facility has been an issue. "We have had an overcrowding this summer becuase it was a really bad litter season and we're not the only shelter to experience that," said Burgess. "We knew we had to work hard to get the numbers down."

Burgess said that they group of volunteers are committed to finding the animals new homes quickly because she doesn't want to have to euthanize.  "It's possible, but it's going to be very difficult, we're going to need everyone to spread the word."

Decatur Animal Services is located at 300 Beltline Rd SW, Decatur, AL 35601. Visit their website here for their latest operation hours.


  • Julie E

    OK – so where does our Mayor think we need to send the homeless, neglected and unwanted animals from the city of Decatur? We need to work on education and helping people get their animals fixed, why are the animals the one who have to pay for it with their lives?

  • Minna Rogers

    Lisa, What do U think the fees should be, when the fees are for shots and or spaying or neutering? That has to be done anyway!!

  • sanmakken

    More volunteers would be beneficial. With that being said my 18yo daughter (animal lover) walked into this facility to just inquire about volunteering during her downtime during the summer after graduation. The lady at the front desk was so rude to her (as if she were in the wrong for stepping to the counter)that she came home feeling awful. How could (and why would) someone turn away good hearted people that would really like to help with these animals even if it is to clean out the cages or take them out for a walk. She has moved onto volunteering with other groups but this experience still bothers her a little I will admit. Don’t turn away the helpful hands facility workers!! Still a little chapped, hoping the best for these animals. I have also been on the adopting side and at least I knew the fee was going toward the procedures to stop what is causing the overflow of shelters. FIX YOUR ANIMALS!

  • Penny Lang

    This is a great opportunity for the mayor to do something good for Decatur. Get together with Ark and find a way to make Decatur a NO KILL city. If the people at your shelter are rude, then it may be a good idea to find some volunteers or employees who actually care. Instead of trying to glad hand to get votes, do something to make people proud to have you as a mayor. Don’t order killing innocent animals just to make sure you comply with “codes” find a way to have foster homes, get some land donated to house more animals, ask your rich friends to help for a good cause, not just to re-elect you to a “cush” job. I have seen nothing positive from either term you served. The streets are horrible, there is no new business worth having to offer people decent paying jobs, not minimum wage jobs at Target, Wal-Mart, or servers at restaurants. Think outside the box, make Decatur a city that a business wants to move to with good streets, low crime, NO KILL animal shelter, good amenities, job opportunities, activities for children, a green community, and the first city in Alabama to be in the present century. These animals have not committed a crime other than being born. We house criminals, give them 3 meals a day, cable television, clothing, health care, education, room and board, yet you don’t order them killed to meet “code” for over-crowding. Good heavens, find a way to help not just order their deaths! Be a mayor, a leader, earn your paycheck.

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