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.