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External Audit Statement

Recently, the Governing Authority of DeKalb County approved a resolution proposed by Commissioner Cochran-Johnson that mandates an external audit of DeKalb County Animal Services managed by LifeLine Animal Project. Because the health and wellbeing of animals is our top priority, we welcome the external audit to review our shelters and procedures. In fact, LifeLine recommended an external review to the County Administration in November of 2023. 

It is important to put in context the complaints that spurred the resolution. These complaints happened over the summer, at a time when demand for pet assistance was high and resources were stretched thin. We take all complaints seriously and promptly investigated the complaints and took immediate action to rectify any practices that fell short of our standards.

Since the complaints were filed in the summer, LifeLine has passed four Department of Agriculture inspections, with the latest inspection happening in January of 2024. It is important to note that the state inspectors determined that one complaint was resolved, and the rest were unfounded. The County, which is responsible for building maintenance, cleaned the air ducts, and crates have not been used for short-term housing in the last six months.

There is overcrowding in the shelters because our communities are struggling and more help is needed. LifeLine is the safety net for the animals and does not turn away animals in critical need. This is the organization the community turns to when they can no longer care for pets. LifeLine has always worked hard to help the community by caring for thousands of pets— even though the cost of running the public shelter regularly exceeds the funds provided by the DeKalb County government. Last year alone, LifeLine contributed $400,000 of the organization’s funds to pay for expenses not covered by the County. Additionally, we moved 1,000 animals from the DeKalb County public shelter to LifeLine’s private shelter, at no cost to DeKalb County. Lifesaving is core to our mission, and we are doing our best to protect the health, wellbeing and lives of these animals. 

LifeLine Animal Project has been a committed partner to DeKalb County since 2009. We thank Commissioners Bradshaw and Long Spears for funds that they each have granted to support lifesaving efforts and programs. We hope to continue working with the DeKalb County Governing Authority to improve our operations. We also look forward to working with the auditor to determine any necessary actions to make improvements.

Public shelters and communities across the nation are all struggling with overcrowded shelters. Lifesaving is in the hands of our community which must help get animals into homes where they belong by adopting, fostering, volunteering, spaying and neutering cats and dogs, or making a donation to expand LifeLine’s capacity to save animals’ lives.

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