DCAS Emergency Status

Due to the critical levels of animals in the shelter, emergency protocols have been enacted to help prioritize the welfare of the animals in our care.

These protocols are temporary and will be evaluated weekly.

  1.  The animal shelter will continue to be temporarily closed to the public on Wednesdays. We need to close one day each week to better manage the influx of animals and allow more time to care for the animals already in the shelter. Our staff and volunteers will still be in the shelter on Wednesdays caring for the animals and will also be completing training and working to build strategies to save lives.

  2. In order to focus on the most critical situations, effective immediately, DeKalb County Animal Services officers will be responding to only the highest priority calls. Their priority is to keep the community safe and help the animals that are in critical condition and most in need.

  3. In addition, the shelter is only able to take in animals in emergency situations or in critical need as we are out of housing space. With the number of animals in our shelters at an all time high, we would like to remind the community to come to the county shelters if they have lost a pet. We are also asking that if you find a lost pet, please take a few quick steps to help that pet find their way back home. Here is a page of tools and resources to help reunite pets with their families.
FAQs

The high intake we’ve been experiencing has been unprecedented. The shelter is over capacity now and we are out of space for new arrivals. We need to close one day each week to better manage the growing influx of animals and allow more time to care for the animals already in the shelter. 

If you have lost a pet, please come to the shelter during our open business hours. Here are the steps you can take to find your lost pet: LifeLineAnimal.org/lost-pets.  

If you have found a pet, we are asking our community to please help healthy, lost pets find their way back home. Steps you can easily take to help can be found at LifeLineAnimal.org/found-pets

The shelter is over capacity now and we are out of space to house new arrivals. 

If you have found a pet, we are asking our community to please help healthy, lost pets find their way back home instead of bringing them to the shelter. There are steps you can take to help that pet. Please visit: LifeLineAnimal.org/found-pets.

Due to critical overcrowding, LifeLine and DeKalb County are working under a “stop intake” order that applies to all animals. However, we will make all necessary arrangements for critical and emergency cases. If you find kittens, first wait to see if a mother will return. Finding the mom is the best chance kittens have for survival. Please share this resource page with the ‘Found Kittens’ flow chart as well. Because kittens are very fragile, and if there is no mother around, we would consider them at risk and an emergency case. Please call the shelter foster team and let them know the situation and they will provide immediate next steps to help those kittens, which may include finding a foster home. The stop intake order has not changed our mission to help the animals most at risk and in need in our communities and our teams are ready to provide the support needed.

Please follow the steps in the kitten flowchart on our found pets page. A kitten’s best chance of survival is with their mom. If you find healthy kittens outside, please wait for their mom to return. Find more helpful information here.

Our staff and volunteers will be in the shelter seven days a week caring for the animals.

In order to focus on the most critical situations, effective immediately, DeKalb County Animal Enforcement Services will be responding to only the highest priority calls on the weekends. Priority calls include: dog bites, police/fire assists, injured animals, and animal cruelty complaints. The goal is to keep our community safe and help the animals that are in critical condition and most in need.

Wednesdays are normally a very slow day for adoptions. Our team will continue to work to find foster homes and send animals to rescue partners on Wednesdays. We are closing one day each week to better care for the current population and increase positive outcomes overall.

This is a temporary measure for an extraordinary time. We will re-evaluate the situation every two weeks and will keep everyone informed.

Similar to when we close for a holiday, we don’t see an increase in animals abandoned. The majority of people who visit the shelter to surrender are not in emergency situations so we don’t see a greater risk for animals to be abandoned. Many people reach out online or by phone (404) 294-2279 before visiting, and we have a number of resources to help our community assist pets in need of a new home.

For anyone needing to surrender a pet, we can still make surrender appointments on Wednesdays on a case-by-case basis and staff will be working in the shelter on these days to help with any critical situations. The goal of these emergency procedures is to better care for the animals and the community and that will still be the case with these changes.

Only 24% of lost animals brought into the shelter are reunited with their families. Taking a dog directly to the shelter reduces their chance of being reunited with their family, and that chance decreases even further the farther away the shelter is from their home. When a pet stays in their neighborhood, that return rate jumps to almost 70%.

Of all lost animals returned to their homes, 63% were found less than a mile from their home. Nearly a quarter of dogs were only one block away from home. We believe the best chance of helping a pet find their is with the good samaritan that found them. If you find a lost dog, chances are their home is right around the corner. Please take a few quick steps to help that pet get home by following the steps here.

Sick and injured animals, who can’t be reunited with their owners in the neighborhood where they were found, will be routed to the shelter for treatment and care. Visibly sick or injured pets are considered critical and you can call Animal Services for assistance. If the owner is still not found during or after treatment, the pet will either be kept in the shelter, adopted, placed in a foster home or humanely euthanized if suffering.

DeKalb County Animal Enforcement will continue to perform all animal services responsibilities, including picking up lost pets that are injured or in critical condition. They will always try to do what’s best for the pet and their family first.

What’s new is that they are offering and encouraging alternatives to animals entering the shelter by providing support and resources that will help keep pets in their homes and communities. In the case of lost pets, that means our primary goal is to reunite lost pets with their families.

We now encourage and support anyone who finds a lost pet to help them search for their family because data shows this vastly improves the chances of the pet being reunited. LifeLine will provide food, supplies, and support as needed to those who hold a found pet. These changes are very important because most lost pets aren’t very far from home.

ADOPT A PET

Adopt the love of your life! Our adoptions include the pet’s spay/neuter, vaccinations and microchip. Our adoption counselors can help you find the perfect match for your family.

FOSTER A PET

Open your heart and home to a shelter pet for a weekend, a few weeks or longer. Help keep them happy and healthy, and free up limited shelter space for other pets who enter our shelters.

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