A new group being formed to address the problem of abandoned and abused animals in DeKalb County is now a 501 (c) 3 organization.
"The IRS has approved our tax free, 501(c)3 status, so we are moving forward with organizing and planning," said David McDowell, a member of the DeKalb Animal Coalition for the Humane Treatment of Animals.
"The purpose of the coalition is to provide for an adequate animal shelter and facilities; to provide a permanent & safe location for neglected, abandoned and abused animals; to provide an alternative low-kill policy so these animals receive medical attention, reduce overpopulation, and be cared for until they can be placed in permanent homes," he said.
The coalition may already have a location for such a shelter. "The site for a permanent county-wide animal facility has been proposed. Tentative plans are to build a facility to care for and find permanent homes for abandoned or abused animals near the site of the future solid waste transfer station, behind Tenneco off of the Sparta Highway, said McDowell in a statement to WJLE.
"We want to work together with the mayors and city councils, and the DeKalb County Mayor & County Commission, to provide a more humane treatment of unwanted or neglected animals," he added.
Other members of the Coalition are Sue Puckett Jernigan, Dr. Hugh Don Cripps, Marsha Darrah, Renee Ferguson, and Smithville Alderman Jason Murphy.
The City of Smithville currently operates the animal shelter for the county just behind the DeKalb County Road Department headquarters off of Smith Road. Officials say that facility, owned by the county, is no longer sufficient to meet current needs.
The Board for the DeKalb Animal Coalition will meet again next Thursday night, June 5 at 6:30 p.m. and the public is welcome and encouraged to attend and participate. The meeting will be in the arts room of County Complex. Please contact Marsha Darrah at 615-597-6138 or David McDowell at 931-260-1693 with any questions or feedback.