More than a year ago, I heard about the Atlanta Humane Society’s plans to build a new $10 million shelter on Mansell Road. As a pet lover and owner of a cat, I was initially enthusiastic about this state-of-the art adoption center in our community’s back yard. However, I have become increasingly concerned as revelations about questionable practices have been rolled out by Fox-5 TV’s investigative reporter, Randy Travis. Videos of these segments are at www.facebook.com/RandyTravisFOX5.
Travis reveals the secret deaths of puppies that have perished from Parvo at this shelter and at its original location in Atlanta, including 120 euthanizations within a recent 10 week period of time. Shelter management policies may have contributed to this epidemic, including a staff decision to bypass a recommended two-week quarantine of all incoming animals.
Travis also reports that AHS apparently has not been notifying the state Department of Agriculture within 24 hours of each Parvo diagnosis, as required by state law for this highly contagious disease. We also learn that the Atlanta Humane Society in reality takes in very few animals from metro Atlanta shelters. AHS actually travels to other states to pick up animals! Worse, AHS took in more animals from the Bahamas last year than they did from Fulton County Animal Shelter, located two miles from AHS’ Atlanta shelter and which last year euthanized over 6,000 homeless pets.
If the AHS Board of Directors expects north Fulton residents to fully embrace its new adoption center, they must launch an independent investigation of all shelter policies and procedures. More importantly, local animal lovers like myself want swift and decisive action, and to know that AHS cares as much about our own community’s homeless pets as they do about pets from other states and even other countries.
Raymond R. Ferreira, Ph.D.