Tag Archives: inhumane

Animal shelter violations in Chatham County

Some of an animal shelter story coming out in Chatham County sounds familiar.

Mary Landers wrote for SavannahNow 20 October 2012, Savannah Chatham Animal Control Shelter cited for violating state rules: Local professionals call shelter’s care “inhumane”

The county-funded Savannah Chatham Animal Control Shelter was found to have repeatedly violated animal protection requirements in two state inspections last month, and its practices are being criticized as inhumane by four local animal professionals.

One professional criticized the shelter not only in writing, but also by revoking the shelter’s permission to use her veterinary license. The Chatham County Commission says it’s dealt with the problem. We’ll see.


“Shelter Attendant and Animal Control Officers have been threaten by county officals” —Ronnie A. Ganas

Received 10 August 2011. -jsq
This is Ronnie Ganas’s statement which was recieved June 6th 2011, at 2:44 pm from shirley king

-Susan Leavens

It’s rather hard to read, so here’s a transcription of what I think it says. -jsq
On several events I have observed the euthanzing being falsied and redone so the amounts should be correct. This records was redone by Michelle Shultz and she was approved to tdo this illegal action by Linda Patiskie. They both know this a controled substance accountability log. The euthanzing log and the bottles have a DEA number. This act of falsifying records have been seen by other Animal Control Officers and Shelter Attendants. I do not remember dates but euthanzing logs and tracking sheets and work schule and time sheets will prove the falsifing. Linda Patiskie has full Knowlegde and approved this illegal actions.

Shelter Attendents and Animal Control Officers have reported cruelty to animals and abuse

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No inhumane treatment issues other than the pot belly pig?

Received Sunday a PDF of a letter from Joe Pritchard, County Manager, to Mary Greene, GA Dep. of Ag. together with the appended cover letter from Susan Leavens. -jsq

Mr. Prichard has made many comments in reference to several of his employees; in recent news paper articles and on the evening news indirectly of course that “they” had bios opinions and even questioned my character in one article.

Mr. Prichard also informed everyone there were no inhumane treatment issues other than the pot belly pig. Well I believe in this document from County Manager Joe Prichard to Ms. Mary Green with Department of Agriculture animal protection says otherwise. I believe Mr. Prichard’s recent statement to the media was though our investigation we found no wrong doing… lets list them here.

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In accordance with the law —Susan Leavens

Received today on When officials act like they are hiding something, they usually are. -jsq
“You won’t receive an open-records request if you answer questions honestly and in accordance with the law.” What an honest statement; perhaps some of this too.
(c) The power granted to counties in subparagraphs (a) and (b) above shall not be construed to extend to the following matters or any other matters which the General Assembly by general law has preempted or may hereafter preempt, but such matters shall be the subject of general law or the subject of local acts of the General Assembly to the extent that the enactment of such local acts is otherwise permitted under this Constitution:

(1) Action affecting any elective county office, the salaries thereof, or the personnel thereof, except the personnel subject to the jurisdiction of the county governing authority.

(2) Action affecting the composition, form, procedure for election or appointment, compensation, and expenses and allowances in the nature of compensation of the county governing authority.

(3) Action defining any criminal offense or providing for criminal punishment.

There is no question how the Law reads —Susan Leavens

Received Monday as a response to Euthanization Violations at the Lowndes County Animal Shelter. -jsq
There is no question how the Law reads; the only question is who indicated there no wrong doing? And they were questioning my character? I question those people who indicated I had a bios opinion to read the laws of Georgia. I am aware you can mirror laws and even add to them in county ordinances but you cannot take away from the law in anyway.

From the United States Department of Agriculture Web Site on Euthanasia


Under Guidelines for Euthanasia

When performing euthanasia in a shelter

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Euthanization Violations at the Lowndes County Animal Shelter —Judy Haverkamp @ LCC 26 July 2011

Lots of “don’t know the results of that” for drug testing, administrative review board, etc. Why don’t we know the results of those things?

Judy Haverkamp talked about what she’d discovered through open records requests.

“It seems like there’s been the same violations still occuring at the shelter even up to this year, and it doesn’t seem like anyone is trying to make an effort to correct these problems!”
She repeatedly cited Georgia code sections that had been violated.

This pretty much sums it up:

“Why would you not do the proper thing to make this process as painless as possible?”
Indeed, why not?


Here’s the video: Continue reading

Shouldn’t the people running the facilities … be held accountable? —Susan Leavens

Received yesterday. -jsq
To: gary.black@agr.georgia.gov
Sent: Tue, July 26, 2011 2:31:16 PM
Subject: Your attention would be grateful in regaurds to the Lowndes County Animal Shelter

To the Honorable Agriculture Commissioner Mr. Gary Black,

July 26, 2011

I would like to introduce myself, my name is Susan Leavens I currently live in Quitman Georgia and I am an employee with Lowndes County, formally as an animal control officer with Lowndes County Animal Services. In June of last year I turned in three statements to Pat Smith who is no longer with the animal protection division she is currently running the Thomasville Animal Control. After speaking with Ms. Pat an advising her of the situations that have occurred and are currently occurring in the Lowndes County Shelter; she advised me to have statements written by individuals that were willing and not afraid of retaliation. Two current employees myself and Ronnie Ganas wrote statements, one previously employee Amanda Jordan. The issues were heard before Vinessa Sim-Green and several other animal protection employees along with Ms Cora Potter. An administration hearing took place an several “options” were offered to the Lowndes County Manager Joe Prichard. These were things that would help the shelter run more efficiently and perhaps come up to date with the Georgia Dept. of Ag. standards; but the issues of animal cruelty, inhumane treatment and practicing veterinarian medicine (surgery by castration of a 2 young adult pot belly pigs). My concern is that the director was never charged in any criminal court of law for her actions regarding the animals at the shelter.

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There are problems at the animal shelter. They have not been resolved.

I think it’s time to ask: what did they know, and when did they know it?

Let’s construct a timeline:

  • 2011-05-20 euthanasia violation
  • 2011-05-20 statement from Heather Terry
  • 2011-05-23 County Manager Joe Pritchard tells the Commission and the public:
    “We were not able to substantiate … accusations other than that … castration of pig.”
    That was even though WCTV already reported there had been several euthanasia violations last year.

    Pritchard also said they (the county in its previous investigation, presumably the one of 2010) examined the character of those testifying for the complaints and he said they found biases.

  • 2011-05-24 County Commission Chairman Ashley Paulk tells the Commission and the public:
    “Whatever problems there are, they’re going to be resolved.”
  • 2011-05-24 The VDT quotes County Manager Joe Pritchard as saying:
    “It’s no longer a case of an individual making a claim, as it will be evident by the physical evidence provided by the security cameras.”
    “You take that policy, coupled with the updated standard operating procedures, added to the technical verification and I think that addresses the issues. My purpose is to eliminate any problem or potential problem.”
  • 2011-05-31 statement by Director Linda Patelski saying two people fired for euthanasia violation of 20 May 2011
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Somebody has gotten fired at the animal shelter

Improper use of drugs for euthanizing animals is apparently enough to get someone fired from the animal shelter, at least if there is a parade of witnesses and paperwork, but only after someone files a complaint with GA Dept. of Ag.

On 16 June 2011 Susan Leavens got a letter from Shirley King, with attached PDF, containing:

  • complaint from Susan Leavens (unknown date):
    “Employee working with Lowndes County Animal Services euthanizing animals wihtout certification.”
  • 2011-06-03 PDF notice of violation from Ga. Dept. Ag. to Lowndes Co. Animal Services
  • a long handwritten statement by Pat Smith, also annotated:
    “Copy of report received by [signed] Joe Pritchard 6-3-11”
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Missing records at GA Dept. of Ag. Animal Protection

Earlier I asked: “So if the investigation takes more than 2 years, do the earlier files about it start to vanish?” It appears that there’s no need to wait 2 years for records to vanish from the Ga. Department of Agriculture Animal Protection.

Blogger Rattlin’ Georgia’s Cages wrote at some unknown date about State Audits:

The author of this website is NOT an attorney, nor is attempting to provide legal advice to ANY person or organizational entity. The author of this website does not, nor does this website, represent, nor is affiliated with, the Ga. Department of Agriculture Animal Protection Division. The author of this website is a previous employee of the Ga. Department of Agriculture, employed as an Animal Protection Inspector, from Dec 2003 until July 29, 2004.

The Ga. Department of Agriculture Animal Protection
Office was audited in 2000.
This office was also reviewed, by the State Audit Office, in 2003,
for a follow up – to determine if this office was adhering
to the state auditor’s recommendations.
* My comments are in red text.
I’ve included here a couple of examples from that audit, with that blogger’s comments in red. -jsq
The Department has the authority to suspend or revoke a facility’s license. If a facility is found to be operating without a license, the Program notifies the facility of the licensure requirement, provides a copy of the standards that must be met to obtain a license, and schedules a pre-license inspection.

* Unlicensed breeders found to be operating unlicensed were not, during my employment, monetarily fined for violations. Under the authority of the Ga. Admin Procedures Act, Ag AP could, but rarely did, fine a person.

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