Thursday, January 27, 2011

Toombs County (Lyons GA) Animal Control: Mass Euthanasia Incident occurring on Thursday January 21st, 2011.

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Update as of 1/27/11 7pm

Today, I spoke with Lyons City Administrator Hartley. Cooperative and forth-coming, Mr. Hartley admitted the culling to be a mistake. He clearly stated Toombs County and City of Lyons are exploring go forward strategies so this will not happen again. The City is open to the idea of partnering with an organization capable of raising funds for the extended care of animals in their shelter. Since the county funds the shelter, the ultimate decision making authority rests with Toombs County.

The shelter had held these animals for over 6 months, far longer than the 5-day hold period provided by law. Hartley admitted that they should have given rescues more time, and that euthanizing all 77 animals in one day was a mistake. Hartley is very supportive of county-wide spay and neuter programs, going so far as to say that a mandatory program should be instituted. We discussed the shortcomings of a mandatory spay/neuter framework. We discussed the No Kill model. Hartley is supportive of instituting a program or low-cost or free spay/neuter for county residents. He is also open to partnering with a qualified rescue organization for the enhancement of animal control services in Toombs County. This said, the reader should bear in mind that Hartley is the City of Lyons Administrator. All of the decisions made about this issue actually reside with the County of Toombs, its commissioners, and County Manager Doug Eaves.

There will be a city council meeting next Tuesday at 7pm in Lyons City Hall. Organizations interested in meeting with officials to propose a plan for the shelter's management including the possibility of an operating agreement in the form of a MOU (Memorandum of Understanding). An MOU would allow for a charitable organization to assume the responsibilities of the management of the shelter or to partner with county officials to extend the time the animals may be safely held for adoption.

Interested persons should attend the City Council meeting, and politely stress the county explore a relationship with a qualified animal welfare organization for the improved management of the facility.

On January 21st, 2011, 77 animals in the care of Toombs County Animal Control were euthanized. There are several strong allegations being posted on the Internet. The first alleged that criminally cruel practices were used to kill the animals. The second is that the animals were killed out of spite to make a point to rescuers who were harassing the shelter management. The third being that animals had already died of exposure since the facility is an open-air dog kennel. Finally, the fourth alleges that animal control has been uncooperative with rescuer's attempts to pull the animals into rescue.

SEPRR has submitted an Open Records request to Toombs County Administration requesting the sedation records from Dr. McRae, the presiding veterinarian, with whom there is a strong possibility his license was lapsed as of the date of this incident. The Secretary of State (SOS) website, as of 1/25/11, showed his license as expired. There is a chance his paperwork is valid and the SOS website has not been updated.

THE call has gone out asking for anyone willing or able to come forward as a witness to the events of January 21st, 2011. To come forward, Witnesses should provide written statement in the form of a notarized Affidavit. To contribute to building the case, the statement should clearly present an instance of criminal wrongdoing. Anything less than this official statement will not be supportive to building the case. Assuming witnesses do come forward, SEPRR has access to the Attorney General and Toombs County Solicitor and will present our findings for them to initiate an investigation and possible prosecution of the matter.


Best regards,
Bryan "Beau" Grant, Director
SE Pet Rescue Railroad

1 comment:

Catherine said...

Mr. Bryan "Beau" Grant
Your message is Very informative but I will not hurry to draw any conclusion...It may well be that The Lyons City Administrator Hartley playing politics; POLITICIANS PLAY the blame game !!!
Let's wait and see how well they will follow the above mentioned proposals.