Sep 12, 2023 - News

Pet euthanasia rates rise in Fulton and DeKalb

Data: Shelter Animals Count; Map: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Fulton and DeKalb county animal shelters are pleading for people to foster and adopt dogs and free up space in overcrowded facilities.

Why it matters: For the first time in its 10-year history, the LifeLine-operated shelters are facing the possibility of having to euthanize dogs because of space issues, spokesperson Tiki Artist told Axios.

What's happening: Euthanasia rates are up 25% for the Fulton shelter and 17% for the DeKalb facility, according to LifeLine.

  • Intake numbers are up 4% and down 12% this year compared to the first six months of 2022 at the Fulton and DeKalb shelters, respectively, Artist said.
  • However, adoptions "across the board" at both shelters are down 30% or more, Artist said, contributing to overcrowding issues.
  • The shelters each took in more than 2,500 dogs during the first six months of 2022 and 2023.

The big picture: More than 80 organizations in metro Atlanta and in Georgia reported taking in 59,241 dogs and cats this year (as of July). During the same time period, they reported 5,538 "non-live outcomes."

Threat level: Animal intakes at both public and private shelters across the country are expected to reach a three-year high, and adoptions or returns to owners are not keeping pace, according to the Shelter Animals Count database.

  • About 51,000 dogs were euthanized from January to July 2023, a 37% increase from that same period in 2022, according to data submitted by organizations that report to SAC.

Of note: More dogs than cats are coming into shelters in many major cities, driven largely by an increase in strays, according to SAC.

Be smart: LifeLine hosts events throughout the city where people can meet and greet (and potentially bring home) some of the hundreds of dogs in their care.

  • Stephanie Filer from SAC reminds potential pet owners they can often find specific breeds at shelters, rather than going to breeders.
  • As the saying goes, "Adopt, don't shop."
  • In addition to local shelters, is a great option.

Adopt: The Fulton and DeKalb LifeLine shelters maintain up-to-date online listings of pets up for adoption.


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