Tag Archives: Susan Leavens

You call Sheriff; Sheriff calls animal control —Susan Leavens

Received today on Stray dogs and the law @ LCC 27 Sep 2011. -jsq
If Mr. Paulk was a “normal citizen” he would know if you call the sheriff’s department for a animal problem he would know they call animal control! And it is up to the animal officer if they want to give the dog back to the owner… Officers have done it many times. It is under the discretion of the animal control officer. Poor Ashley should know what the ordinance says I mean he was the sheriff for many years as he has indicated many times and since he is the County Chairman now one would think he would know what the orinance says. This poor guy was given wrong information by the County Chairman on how to fix the problem… perhaps if the man caught the dog and brought it to the shelter he would be better off. The owner would have to show proof of rabies vaccination and pay impound fees. $25 impound fee, $12 for a voucher if the dog does not have proof of current rabies vaccination. The prices are not much but it is incontinent. If it is not sterilized (spay or neutered) it doubles on each impound… fees can rack up pretty fast $25, $50, $100 and so on. The sheriff’s office is not going to handle owner involved cases, if the dog was returned to the owner it was not a stray. Sorry Ashley Paulk you’re so wrong on this one!

WordPress blog on animal protection problems

Susan Leavens has branched out from her facebook page, Georgia’s Regulatory Animal Protection Division the truth behind them, and has now created a WordPress blog, Georgia Department of Agriculture Animal Protection Problems

Among other things, she’s reposted a bunch of LAKE posts about animal shelter issues. That’s kosher, as long as there’s attribution, which she has included. I applaud Susan for starting her own blog!


Where did your promise go, Commissioner Gary Black? —Susan Leaven

Received 9 August. -jsq
To: gary.black@agr.georgia.gov
Sent: Tue, August 9, 2011 4:51:54 PM
Subject: Where did your promise go? We were counting on you Commissioner Gary Black.

Dear Commissioner G. Black,

On July 26th 2011, I contacted you with anticipation of a response to matters of concern regarding Animal Protection problems in your division, as well as issues involving Lowndes County Animal Services.

On July 30th 2011, I sent a second email to your office, indicating

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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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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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“Once the investigation is complete and closed all documents will be provided to you.” —Custodian of Records

More from Susan Leavens:
—– Forwarded Message —- From: “King, Shirley”
To: “sleavens4@bellsouth.net”
Sent: Wed, October 27, 2010 2:21:02 PM
Subject: Open Records Request
Ms. Leavens, as you requested under the Georgia Open Records Act, please find message from the custodian of records for Animal Protection attached.
If we may assist you any further, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Shirley J. King
Open Records Coordinator
The attached PDF is here on the LAKE website. Interestingly, although that message from Patricia Mitchell, “Animal Protection Office Custodian of Records” says
“Once the investigation is complete and closed all documents will be provided to you.”
it also says:
“By policy the department only retains 2 years (2008 & 2009) inactive files and 1 years (2010) active files.”
So if the investigation takes more than 2 years, do the earlier files about it start to vanish?


All employees were drug tested and interviewed —Joe Pritchard

Susan Leavens sent this Tuesday:
John, this is the first open records reguest I did with GDA. The rest will be in order of date of the request.
The document Shirley King attached for Item #2 was this PDF of a letter from Joe Pritchard of 27 August 2010 telling USDA GDA all employees (presumably of the animal shelter) had been drug-tested and were being interviewed.

Documents about the animal shelter are appearing here on the LAKE web pages. Here are the messages Susan Leavens forwarded along with this particular letter.

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I tried following the chian of command —Susan Leavens

Many comments are on Animal shelter open records and Return cameras. Susan Leavens provides specific information in this one. -jsq
Concerned Citizen,

Please understand that there are state laws that people get arrested for each day also; the county ordiance mirrors the state law(s) however if you have not read the statements no one was arrested either. And do you think the bulldog was the first incident? Keep reading!! Below are some other things which have occured in the shelter.

Page 3 #15 Cruelty,
Page 5 #23 hoplesly disable animal,
page 5 #26 humane care,
page 7 #36 records,
Section 5 page 10 Emergencies involving animals,

to name a few of the Lowndes County Ordinance.

So when you say why didn’t I(Officer Leavens)end

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