DeKalb Super District 6 Commissioner Ted Terry Introduces Resolution to Reaffirm “No Kill Animal Shelter” Policy in DeKalb County

Aiming to Build A Community Where Animal Life Is Cherished and Shelters Operate With Utmost Humanity and Efficiency

Decatur, GA- Super District 6 Commissioner Ted Terry unveiled a pivotal resolution today, urging DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond to reaffirm* our commitment to the “no-kill animal shelter” policy. This step accentuates DeKalb County’s intention to ensure that animal welfare aligns with both modern best practices and the heartfelt wishes of its residents.

*the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners passed a no-kill resolution in November of 2017, affirming the support of the no-kill policy for the DeKalb animal shelter, becoming the 2nd county in Georgia to do so.

This resolution highlights:

  • Numerous communities across the U.S. have ended the killing of healthy and treatable animals in their municipal shelters, achieving placement rates of 95% – 99%.
  • The No Kill Equation, a comprehensive model of humane programs and services, has consistently proven its effectiveness, leading to a nationwide shelter death rate decline of 95% and promoting a shift from buying to adopting pets.
  • Traditional methods of managing animal shelter populations through killing are not only inhumane but also economically inefficient. In contrast, the No Kill Equation’s programs are cost-effective and present potential revenue opportunities.
  • Major corporations, such as Google, have recognized and praised communities that prioritize animal welfare, highlighting the appeal of such places to a “young, vibrant, pet-loving workforce”.
  • Ensuring public safety remains at the forefront, with No Kill mandates resulting in notable reductions in severe dog bite incidents.
  • Formation of an animal welfare task force made up of relevant departments, animal advisory board members, the judicial system, the Board of Commissioners, the Law Department and community stakeholders to review, advise and act on the full implementation of the “no-kill equation” program and policy framework.


“With this resolution, we are underscoring our deep commitment to both animal welfare and economic sensibility,” said Commissioner Ted Terry. “DeKalb County has the potential to set an example, illustrating how compassion, innovation, and accountable governance can seamlessly coexist in the domain of animal care.”

With the backing of strong bipartisan support and an overwhelming 96% of Americans advocating for robust animal welfare legislation, moving towards a No Kill ordinance is not just an ethical imperative but also a hallmark of responsive governance.

Commissioner Ted Terry encourages his fellow commissioners and the residents of DeKalb County, GA, to rally behind this resolution, aiming to build a community where animal life is cherished and shelters operate with utmost humanity, efficiency, and forward-thinking.

For more details or to schedule interviews with Commissioner Ted Terry, please contact Kelly Cato at

Dekalb County Commissioners Express Support for Okefenokee Swamp

Protecting the Okefenokee Swamp and Its Impact Yesterday, Today, and For the Future Generations of Tomorrow

Decatur, GA (10/24/2023) – The Dekalb County Board of Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution today expressing support for the Okefenokee Swamp in the face of a threat posed by a proposed titanium strip mine.  

By a 7-0 vote, the commissioners noted the ecological and economic significance of the swamp, expressed solidarity with South Georgia government entities that have spoken out against Twin Pines Minerals’ proposed titanium mine along the swamp’s hydrologic boundary, and also stated their support for state legislative action to protect the Okefenokee.  

“The Okefenokee Swamp is Georgia’s greatest natural treasure and is beloved by Dekalb County citizens,” said Commissioner Ted Terry, who introduced the resolution.  “Mining along the swamp’s boundary is simply incompatible with this priceless ecosystem.  Dekalb County joins numerous South Georgia local governments in urging the state to deny the permits for the Twin Pines project and urges the state legislature to pass the Okefenokee Protection Act that would permanently prohibit mining along the swamp’s boundary.”

Dekalb’s action follows similar resolutions passed by Ware, Clinch and Echols Counties and the cities of Valdosta, Waycross, Homeland and St. Mary’s that have expressed opposition to the mining proposal.   Those resolutions in turn followed over 100,000 comments submitted by Georgia citizens to the Georgia Environmental Protection Division earlier this year in opposition to the project’s permit applications. The Okefenokee Protection Act has been introduced in the Georgia House of Representatives the last two years.  The 2023 version has attracted 96 bipartisan cosponsors, including many from Dekalb County, and would prohibit mining on along the entirety of the swamp’s hydrologic boundary.  

Commissioner Ted Terry hosts ‘Green New Deal Summit’ to generate support for environmental policies


Published: October 16, 2023

By: Anila Yoganathan, contributor 

DeKalb County, GA — In an effort to generate support for environmental policies to redesign DeKalb County, commissioner Ted Terry hosted more than 100 residents at the Green New Deal Summit on Saturday. 

The all-day conference included discussions on how to conserve energy and save on electric bills at home and presented ideas on how to make the county more accessible by foot or bike, less dependent on cars, and how to protect the trees, especially during new development.

“Some of these things are kind of radical, like building tiny homes and preserving 50% of land for non-development. Like that’s kind of controversial,” Terry told Decaturish. “You need people who support that concept, they have to say that they support it because that’s how politics works.”

Each presentation highlighted current initiatives for the county, with the goal of getting residents to come and support these initiatives at the county commission.

The sessions included groups that are already working with the county on sustainability efforts, such as the Southface Institute, which spoke with residents on common myths on how to save on their electric bills or upgrade their homes to be more energy efficient. 

For example, if residents are interested in solar panels, they should consider making other changes to reduce their bills first and join a solarize campaign to crowdsource funding for buying panels in bulk rather than invest on their own, Southface Project Manager Jo’de Cummings said.

This is the Southface Institute’s first of five sessions for community engagement, and future sessions will continue to build knowledge, Terry said.

Presentations were also given by researchers and organizations that are promoting alternative methods of how to develop land in the county.

“I hope that I’ve convinced you we do not need to tear down a single tree,” said Ellen Dunham-Jones, director for Masters of Science in Urban Design at Georgia Tech, at the end of her presentation. 

Dunham-Jones presented proposals by her students on different areas in the county that could be redeveloped with a more sustainable lens. This included proposals from students going back to 2021 about how to redevelop North Dekalb Mall, the Gallery at South Dekalb, Memorial Drive, and Scottdale. The students spoke with property owners and community members to help inform their proposals. They also analyzed historic maps that helped inform environmental conditions. 

Some of these proposals are current areas that have been discussed for redevelopment in Dekalb, such as the DeKalb Farmers Market, which Dunham-Jones said plans to increase its operations and parking lot by about fivefold, and its plans are already approved.

“We love the farmers market. We absolutely want to be supportive. It is a fantastic asset to our community,” Dunham-Jones said. “But instead of having a massive urban heat island producing a lot of polluting runoff, this team [of students] proposed that instead the parking for the store [be put] in a parking garage attached to the new store.”

The land that would have been used for the parking lot could then be used to make a car-free neighborhood, Dunham-Jones said. The goal of more walkable areas includes increased accessibility for people who do not have a car or cannot drive, reduced traffic and reduced air pollution.

“Developers have had their run of DeKalb County for 60-plus years,” Terry said. “We can’t go back in time. So the best approach is to do two things: to conserve what we have and to make better use of what we’ve already done.”

The presentations were not only meant to educate residents on different ways of thinking about development in the county, but also how each of these issues is impacted by the county government’s planning and zoning decisions. 

“Because we grew up in the 50s and the 60s, we have lots of roads connecting low-density neighborhoods, right? What does that mean? It means we have potholes everywhere. Why? We can’t afford to maintain our roads,” Walter Brown, who presented information on trails, said. “So what are we doing with our SPLOST, a huge chunk of it … goes to repaving. Wouldn’t you like to see that money reprogrammed to sustainable transportation alternatives?”

Brown presented information about the county’s research into multi-use trails, which also comes as two trail expansion projects are being looked at in Commissioner Michelle Long Spears’ district two: the Emory trail expansion and the Peachtree Creek Greenway. The presentation included discussing the benefits to health, job creation, and environmental benefits. 

The final presentation pulled some of the prior discussions together by looking at village conservation communities where trees are preserved and land is used effectively. Greg Ramsey, founder of Village Habitat Design, said there is limited undeveloped land in DeKalb County. 

The program looks at undeveloped parcels clustered together or near one another and creates designs based on the parcels where development should go, where trails can be implemented, and where walkability and community infrastructure can be put. The approach prioritizes nature, urban agriculture, and development. 

“We need walkable villages and hamlets to bring local workplaces back so that it’s not an absentee neighborhood. Instead, it’s an active neighborhood,” Ramsey said.