May 23, 2024

Bowlingual Dog

Animal Planet Directory

UPDATED: Fayette catching flak for smaller dog run sizes at new animal shelter; county responds with a fix

>Old animal shelter kennels shown at top, while new smaller units are at bottom. Photos/Jeff Koldoff.
Old animal shelter kennels shown at top, while new smaller units are at bottom. Photos/Jeff Koldoff.

UPDATED TUESDAY AFTERNOON: Dog lovers, Fayette County officials heard your complaints about too-small kennels in the new animal shelter.

Fayette County officials got a month’s worth of howls over the past few days as dog lovers raised a ruckus about a brand-new animal shelter being opened with kennels too small to accommodate dogs much larger than a terrier.

The emails that started the dog track to repentance are below in our original story. The county’s quick response is posted here:

Animal Shelter Statement

Fayette County, GA — Fayette County heard the community’s concerns and implemented a solution.

Staff removed the wall separating adjacent kennels, along with the kennel separating wall to create a L-shaped large kennel.

This allows enough space for a medium or large dog to have a bed, water and move around in before they are adopted.

Additionally, staff removed the kennel separating wall in the smaller kennel to double their living space.

This reduces the total number of kennels from 32 to 24, which still is 50% more space than what was in our previous kennel.

There is overflow capacity in the isolation room that contains 10 larger kennels used primarily for isolation and observation. The overall kennel can be “right-sized” up or down based upon our capacity needs at the shelter with our existing staff.

Our focus will now shift to implementing the additional on-sight improvements for walking trails and a livestock building.

Fayette County remains committed to working with the community, animal advocate partners and volunteers to ensure we have a master plan that meets our growing needs in the future.

About the Fayette County Animal Shelter: The Fayette County Animal Shelter has been dedicated to serving the community for close to 40 years. Our services include assistance to animals with public safety as the number one priority. To learn more about our services and to get involved with our work, please visit FayetteCountyGa.gov

 

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ORIGINAL STORY: Social media locally lit up negatively the past few days following the official opening of the new Fayette County Animal Shelter.

Writers expressed shock that the dog runs were too small for medium to larger dogs.

County Manager Steve Rapson replied, assuring writers that the county wanted to get this right.

Here are some of the emails The Citizen has received about the issue:

“I am writing to express my astonishment at the inhumane size of the runs at the Fayette Animal Shelter in Peachtree City.

“Who in their right mind thinks that this is appropriate?

“It’s cruel and will make the dogs go crazy.

“With the amount of money Fayette County has, this is not acceptable.

“Please consider making changes immediately to this mistake.

Nancy Holland

Fayetteville, GA

“I would like to express my deep disgust for the new Fayette County Animal shelter and the extremely small kennel sizes. The animals cannot move and have wounds developing on their body due to the small sizes.

“This is inhumane and I find it disgusting that a county that holds itself to such a high standard of quality treats our animals this way. Shame to all of those who have approved this torture of animals. There needs to be an investigation and actions taken immediately to improve this situation for the animals.”

Erikaa Beall

 

“I am writing to you as a concerned Fayette County citizen, business owner and animal advocate, whom is worried about the welfare and inhumane treatment of animals in the new shelter building, many of whom are too big for the much smaller kennels they’re now kept in.

“The previous shelter, while needing to be replaced for quite a while, at least provided medium and large dogs space to actually turn around in (without injury) and provided sufficient space for them to at least have a bed in (photo of old vs new shelter kennels attached).

“From my past career as a fire officer, I can only relate this to a city south of us that had ordered a fire department ladder tower truck several years ago, only to accept delivery and find it was too big to fit in the station they had, resulting in that city having to sell the new truck at a loss. the Fire Chief was fired for his ‘incompetence’ in ordering something that wasn’t going to fit.

“This is really no different, HOW did this happen? I know the previous Director has left. Did any staff question this before this facility was completed, and if so, were they just told to ignore the issue?

“Obviously someone has screwed this up, and every day these dogs have to sit in these kennels is inhumane treatment of them by the County. This incompetence needs to be rectified by the County immediately, I, like many other concerned advocates will be watching.”

Jeff Koldoff

Battalion Chief – Retired

Peachtree City Fire / Rescue

(I.S.O. Class 1)

 

Fayette County Manager Steve Rapson tried to explain this way:

“Thanks for taking the time to email your concerns with the new shelter.

“These kennels open to both sides and are closed when staff are cleaning the facility.

“We have $500,000 approved in the SPLOST program for additional improvements for walking the dogs etc. (see below)

“Masterplan Improvements for the new Animal Shelter Property site includes walking trails and livestock building. The walking path is estimated to be $400,000 and will encircle the new animal control shelter and will be lined with shade trees, benches and waste stations for dog waste.

“The purpose of the project would have an established path at the shelter for volunteers and potential animal adopters to exercise the dogs from the shelter. Not only would the path give a designated area to exercise the animals it would help to make the property that is not the building more attractive and easier to control the area from ticks and other bugs.

“Additionally, a new $85,000 600 SF Livestock Building with built in stalls for small livestock that is typically brought to the shelter, like pigs, goats, chickens, there would also be a small pasture fence with the building to allow livestock room to move around. While there would be no need for sewer or heat there will be fencing, water and power to facilitate the operational needs for the livestock building.

“I have staff to evaluate additional signage on Highway 74 and onsite and the kennel sizes for medium and large dogs.

“We do acknowledge your concerns.”

Steven Rapson

County Manager, CPA, CCO

 

“Mrs. Beall, Thanks for taking the time to email your concerns with the new shelter.

“These kennels open to both sides and are closed when staff are cleaning the facility.

“However, we share your concerns with some of the medium and larger dogs and our staff are reaching out to the contractor to determine what modifications can be proposed to address concerns expressed with medium and larger dogs at the shelter.

“As I have been communicating this weekend, we have spent a great deal of time and money on this new facility, and we’re committed to working towards a solution.

“Additionally, we have funding approved in the SPLOST program for additional improvements for the overall site that include walking trails and livestock building.

“The walking path will encircle the new animal control shelter and will be lined with shade trees, benches, and waste stations for dog waste. The purpose of the project would have an established path at the shelter for volunteers and potential animal adopters to exercise the dogs from the shelter. Not only would the path give a designated area to exercise the animals it would help to make the property that is not the building more attractive and easier to control the area from ticks and other bugs.

“There is also a 600 SF Livestock Building with built in stalls for small livestock that is typically brought to the shelter, like pigs, goats, chickens, and a small pasture fence with the building to allow livestock room to move around.

“We spent a great deal of time and money on this new facility, and we need to get this right.

“We’re committed to working towards a solution to alleviate these concerns.”

Steven Rapson

County Manager, CPA, CCO

 

Koldoff replied:

“Mr. Rapson,  All this does nothing to address the fact that the kennels are too small, dogs will be laying in feces and urine. Dogs will have limited space to even turn in, one has even injured his tail already as it’s been bleeding, just from wagging it in such a confined kennel.

“The beds they’ve used in the past won’t fit as there won’t be any room for them to walk or move in. How is all this going to affect the mental health of those animals trying to be adopted out?

“I know you indicated you had ‘requested staff to evaluate additional signage for Highway 74, signage onsite, and the kennel sizes for medium and large dogs.’

“Not to disparage this response, but just from being obvious, yes, it does need signage as it’s hard to see the facility from the roadway, but also it’s VERY obvious the kennels are just too small and inhumane.

“Ultimately, since the County, or those involved with this project have screwed up, why not move all the animals back to the old shelter building, until such time as the size of these kennels can be rectified, and don’t let someone’s incompetence make these animals suffer.”

Jeff Koldoff

Battalion Chief – Retired

Peachtree City Fire / Rescue

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