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Halt to killing ordered at Augusta shelter

Thursday, July 10, 2014 3:29 PM
Last updated Friday, July 11, 2014 1:00 AM
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In response to a flood of phone calls and e-mails, Augusta Animal Services has temporarily stopped euthanizing all but sick and vicious animals at its Mack Lane shelter, and is working with a rescue group and clinic to get spayed and neutered animals into loving homes, interim Administrator Tameka Allen said at a Thursday news conference.

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Earlier on Thursday, interim City Administrator Tameka Allen said the changes involved animal services working with a group called DNA that will ensure stray animals are spayed or neutered and placed n loving homes.  MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
Earlier on Thursday, interim City Administrator Tameka Allen said the changes involved animal services working with a group called DNA that will ensure stray animals are spayed or neutered and placed n loving homes.

“We just wanted to make sure that we address this issue,” Allen said, “to let the public know that we hear their cries and appreciate the passion that they feel.”

Allen said Animal Services Director Sharon Broady will be working with a rescue group – Dog Networking Agents – to transport animals to a spay and neuter clinic before they are released to the group. By Tuesday’s Augusta Commission meeting, there will be new policies and options regarding animal sterilization and other rescue groups to present to commissioners, she said.

Area animal rescue groups have been upset over the city’s 70 percent kill rate - resulting in the deaths of more than 6,500 dogs, cats and other animals each of the last two years at the high-volume shelter - and with Director Broady’s unwillingness to work with rescue groups determined to find the animals homes.

Commissioner Grady Smith said his cell phone had been ringing all day since The Augusta Chronicle ran his number Thursday next to an editorial urging action, and it rang again during the news conference.

“I’ve had to change batteries on my cell phone,” Smith said. “They’re upset and there is passion involved, around the county especially. How many pickup trucks do you see with a (dog) in the back?”

It wasn’t clear Thursday whether the announced changes were enough to satisfy animal activists. Dennis Briatico, who led a Dec. 7 march against Georgia Regents University testing of dental implants on dogs, said a Friday protest at Augusta Animal Services was still on from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“It’s good to hear that they agreed that’s way too high a kill rate,” Briatico said.

Dog Networking Agency, or DNA, was formed last year by Hayley Zielinski and Ali Williams to connect unwanted animals with new owners, using a network of transporters, breed-specific and other rescue groups and low-cost spay and neuter clinics. The non-profit group has already “networked” some 200 Augusta animals over the last year, according to Zielinski.

Broady, who did not attend the news conference, angered some animal rescue groups in Augusta and nationwide when she refused to meet their demands to remove animals from the shelter, sparing them from near-certain death, citing Georgia laws requiring they be spayed or neutered first.

Commissioner Donnie Smith, a professed animal lover, said the city is doing as much as it can to address a complicated issue.

“We have heard the public loud and clear,” Donnie Smith said.

He and several other commissioners met previously with Augusta’s animal advisory board, rescue groups, staff and members of Macon-Bibb County Animal Welfare to explore options for reducing Augusta’s kill rate. Donnie Smith said that mandatory animal licensing in Macon creates a revenue stream the government uses for operations.

A Chronicle reporter tried to interview Broady at the shelter Thursday, but staff said she was examining a fence, speaking with city attorneys or otherwise unavailable to comment on how the department will begin working with rescue groups.

Allen called Broady’s job status “a personnel issue” but denied, as did the commissioners present at the press conference, that the city had plans to terminate the veteran staffer.

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dwb619
104247
Points
dwb619 07/10/14 - 03:11 pm
13
1
good news

This is Augusta's problem. I don't live in Augusta.
I wish all the best for DNA.
As I have said before, my wife and I are both available to help in the transport of these dogs ANYWHERE-ANY TIME!

Spay Neuter Nut
37
Points
Spay Neuter Nut 07/10/14 - 04:55 pm
9
0
This is a problem for Augusta, SC, Tenn, etc.

Unfortunately the problem of euthanizing too many dogs & cats is not limited to Augusta. The problem is TOO MANY dogs & cats, due to the lack of spay/neuter, education about the need to do so and availability of low cost/no cost spay neuter services made available to those that can't afford it or don't know any better. These transport groups exist and Bless them they put a tiny dent in the problem. Most places up north require licensing and dogs to be spayed/neutered. Yes they have dogs in shelters but nothing like we have down here. It's criminal how the lack of education, caring or funds caused so many animals to be euthanized!

Spay Neuter Nut
37
Points
Spay Neuter Nut 07/10/14 - 04:57 pm
9
0
Here's a way to Help

This group helps with low cost/no cost surgeries to those in need: https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/7mQsc/ab/73T1dd
They could use your support!

Spay Neuter Nut
37
Points
Spay Neuter Nut 07/10/14 - 05:01 pm
9
0
Augusta Needs to Work with more than one Transport Group!

200 dogs a year is terrific, but won't put a dent in the quantity of animals euthanized. They also need to get rid of Ms. Broady!

TrulyWorried
16524
Points
TrulyWorried 07/10/14 - 07:24 pm
3
2
Director of Animal Control

does not have to be fired - she has proven that she needs to work elsewhere, don't cut her privilege off to a government pension. Find a place for her where she can finish out her time - with 36 years at the Correction Facility and I don't know how long at the animal sheter she should be ready for retirement shortly. VERY SHORTLY? Like the end of this month?

I am more than delighted that things are finally moving and making progress to help our animals.
Why can't Augusta have a place that collects money for low cost spaying and neutering (see Aiken)? Or combine it with the activities at the Animal Shelter with tight controls over the money received and spent??? THAT would help a lot and many animal lovers that can't have pets for whatever reason could help that way. Only a suggestion, but who knows?

Esctab
1222
Points
Esctab 07/10/14 - 08:24 pm
8
0
Progress

This sounds like progress; hope it continues.
Thanks to all for making it happen, this includes the efforts of the Augusta Chronicle reporters and the Augusta Chronicle Editorial Staff - good work all!

Stunned 2
6296
Points
Stunned 2 07/10/14 - 10:31 pm
7
2
So, Columbia County: What are you going to do, now???

Richmond County's adoption, placement, no-kill rate is beating Columbia County, now. The public will be 'on your tail' next. Many of us plead with public officials in both Columbia and Richmond County - last year when the CSRA's largest rescue shelter was harassed to close by untrue accusations, and the arrogant officials at the State level pulled their weight to devastate our communities' animal welfare programs. I wish someone would investigate how much the GA DOA(Mark Murrah) has spent harassing the most successful volunteer for companion animal rescue in our community. (Multiple trips with car loads of useless employees, arriving with brand new laptops in their cars - All this at the taxpayers' expense!) This money should have been spent more wisely. Our community should be outraged at the folks (idiots) at the State level, also.

Little Lamb
49097
Points
Little Lamb 07/11/14 - 07:11 am
2
5
Passion

Things can backfire quickly when our officials govern by passion:

“We just wanted . . .” Tameka Allen said, “to let the public know that we hear their cries and appreciate the passion that they feel.”

How about hearing our cries and feeling our passion that we do not want our property tax millage raised? How about hearing our cries and feeling our passion that we do not want SPLOST dollars transferred to private institutions, private organizations, or private individuals for their pet projects? How about hearing our cries and feeling our passions that we need to cut down on consultant studies and instead make city employees do their jobs?

geecheeriverman
4672
Points
geecheeriverman 07/11/14 - 07:30 am
1
4
Would be nice

I have had dogs and cats since I was a small child. I think it is terrible that so many animals are euthanized at animal shelters nationwide. I just wish that these protesters would be as vocal about the killing of unborn babies, as they are about these animals.

TrulyWorried
16524
Points
TrulyWorried 07/11/14 - 11:12 am
6
0
To Little Lamb

Yes, you are sooo right - and we do have many other things to complain about, HAVE BEEN complaining about. But right now it is the animals' turn - just until we know that they are being helped the way they should be, OK?
THEN we can hit the next subject and we seem to be heard when in numbers, we have just proven that with our "help the animals" campaign. I only hope that the local government won't let us down and I know that they won't. (No I am not a dreamer - I am an optimist!)

jimmymac
47688
Points
jimmymac 07/11/14 - 08:28 am
0
0
SHELTERS
Unpublished

Having decent shelters to house animals is a must to protect them. Aiken has an SPCA shelter and another shelter for county animals. The citizens volunteer to assist with the operations which reduces costs and give the poor dogs and cats some much needed human contact. If Augusta citizens can't volunteer they can donate money, food, blankets and supplies like they do in Aiken.

Bizkit
35580
Points
Bizkit 07/11/14 - 08:33 am
2
7
If people didn't allow these

If people didn't allow these animals to over populate we wouldn't have such a huge problem. Since so many are still put down why not donate these animals to education and research- dogs and cats are used often for research and dissection respectively in about every university.

Bizkit
35580
Points
Bizkit 07/11/14 - 10:37 am
1
5
Two thumbs down for

Two thumbs down for supporting education and research? Strange.

Bizkit
35580
Points
Bizkit 07/11/14 - 11:44 am
1
4
Now three down? Must be the

Now three down? Must be the uneducated crowd that hates science and education and wants our youth to be uneducated and even less competitive.

Bizkit
35580
Points
Bizkit 07/11/14 - 01:19 pm
0
1
Animal terrorist and

Animal terrorist and ecoterrorism are a huge problem in the US. Sadly some folks are so lost in ideology they adopt criminal methods- as I have experienced at universities. I don't know if this protest group is reasonable or radical. But usually the radical ones aren't happy with a protest and make threats and adopt illegal activities. I have been threatened and harassed by animal protesters. It was frightening.

burninater
9941
Points
burninater 07/11/14 - 02:21 pm
2
0
"Animal terrorist and

"Animal terrorist and ecoterrorism are a huge problem in the US."
------
"Huge problem in the US"? Your profession may be exposing you to a very specific, niche activism, but acts of animal and eco "terrorism" really don't constitute something "huge".

Even the label "terrorism" is uncertain here -- is activity limited to property damage or threatening language necessarily "terrorism"?

corgimom
38480
Points
corgimom 07/11/14 - 02:42 pm
0
2
All I know is that Home of

All I know is that Home of Good Dog Rescue, Inc filed a 2012 tax return that said as of 12/31/2012, they had cash of over $119,000 in the bank, and their 2012 revenue was $367K and their expenses were $356K, for a gain of $11K.

They are very, very successful- and it's done on the backs of RC taxpayers, with RC in a budget deficit.

But if that's what people want, then whatever.

I'd sure like to know what the actual cost is of an adopted dog, versus the RC adoption fee of $75 for a male dog and $85 for a female.

There are people that think that every dog and every cat ever born must be adopted, and that's just not true. They are animals, not people.

These same people that insist on this have no problem going to the supermarket and buying hamburger and bacon, but they spout about how dogs have "rights", as if they are human, and they are not.

Bizkit
35580
Points
Bizkit 07/11/14 - 02:56 pm
0
1
Dang Burn I'm baiting animal

Dang Burn I'm baiting animal terrorist with inflammatory rhetoric. I figure they would go ballistic rather just thumbs down. Well I misspoke actually ecoterrorism and animal activism terrorism are second and third to Islamic terrorism worldwide not in the US. But as a grad student the animal activist were just nuts with vandalism and threats. Course I shouldn't let that jade me, but it is a normal reaction to being threatened.

Esctab
1222
Points
Esctab 07/11/14 - 03:06 pm
1
0
Gasp! PuppyGate!

Oh my gosh Corgimom! It's a crisis! It's PuppyGate!
What to do, what to do???!!!

Stunned 2
6296
Points
Stunned 2 07/11/14 - 03:51 pm
3
0
'Corgimom ': "They are animals, not people"

Paradox??? Oxymoron??? hummm
(Responding to Corgimom's confusing post at 3:42)
She identifies herself as 'CorgiMom', but then is
implying that those of us that try to defend animals
think that animals are human.

Bizkit
35580
Points
Bizkit 07/11/14 - 03:25 pm
0
1
They are animals just not

They are animals just not human- not even close. But some folks are anthropomorphic and transform their pet with human attributes, which I understand and have done the same thing. Course because they aren't human is not a license to abuse any animal. We should be good stewards of all life not just pets. All life is interdependent.

Stunned 2
6296
Points
Stunned 2 07/11/14 - 04:00 pm
2
0
Recent studies concerning relationships between dogs & humans

Several recent studies have found Dogs to be the best animal for human companionship. Some humans are too conditioned by Darwin's
theory of Evolution (that was pushed down our throats at school), that the obvious natural affection between dogs and humans is ignored.
Those are the humans that we need to recondition.

Dogs (not chimps) most like humans - NBC News
www.nbcnews.com/.../dogs-not-chimps-most-humans
NBCNews.com
Mar 26, 2009 - Chimpanzees share many of our genes, but dogs have lived with us for so long ... in comparative studies designed to shed light on human uniqueness. ... dogs show rapid changes of emotional and behavioral response in ...

Research with dogs - Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary ...
www.eva.mpg.de/psycho/dog-cognition.php
Max Planck Society
Although most of our work is done with the great apes, we also investigate other species such as goats, seals, and dogs. ... Dogs are more skillful in making use of human pointing gestures than wolves and even chimpanzees are. ... Human-Like Social Skills in Dogs? ... Show complete readings from the dog studies group

Bizkit
35580
Points
Bizkit 07/11/14 - 04:27 pm
0
1
That 's because dogs are

That 's because dogs are domesticated from Asian wolves - artificial selection for traits we desired. I bet they respond to human gestures since their survival is dependent on us. Studies indicate early man also ate their dogs. But dogs lack the cognitive skills of primates-swine are far more intelligent.

corgimom
38480
Points
corgimom 07/11/14 - 04:44 pm
0
2
Stunned, 2 out of my 3 dogs

Stunned, 2 out of my 3 dogs are Pound Hounds.

And I've adopted many Pound Hounds in my lifetime. In fact, most of the dogs I've had have been Pound Hounds.

But the truth is that as long as shelters and rescues allow unsterilized dogs out of the shelters, the problem will not stop. Ever.

Feral cats and dogs are a serious problem in the US. And so are older dogs that are surrendered to shelters, those are the ones that are the hardest to adopt out (although I prefer those, myself.)

That New Jersey rescue posts pictures on the Net, and that's how most of their clients choose their dog, is by a picture. And once they pay the money and sign the contract, they MUST take the dog. They can't change their mind. And if the dog doesn't work out, they MUST keep the dog an additional two weeks. To be abused, neglected, rejected?

That is a very good way for that dog to just end up in another shelter in the Northeast. It is not recommended that people choose animals based on Internet pictures, but too many do- they choose with their emotions, not on reality. They project expectations on the dog. And then they get the dog, and it's not what they expected. And then the dog is taken to the local pound. Or worse, it's abused, neglected, or dumped.

I don't see any point in taking a dog from a shelter, adopting it out, and having it wind up in another shelter, where it is likely to be euthanized. What does that accomplish, except to put that dog under tremendous stress, and make money for that rescue?

Now, I call myself the mother of my 3 dogs for my screen name, but I am a real-life mother and grandmother. And I know the difference, and I don't confuse the two, and no, my dogs are not equal to people. Ever. And they are not treated as such. And they are not my children. They are treated very, very well, but they are not human.

There are some people that are just horrified at the idea of euthanizing dogs. Well, as long as irresponsible people let them breed, and as long as shelters release unsprayed or unneutered dogs, it's going to keep happening.

The whole problem could be solved if RICHMOND COUNTY HIRED A VET.

WHY isn't anybody but me putting that forth as a solution?

Stunned 2
6296
Points
Stunned 2 07/11/14 - 05:55 pm
2
0
Thanks for the clarification, CorgiMom.

It would be great if RC could hire & keep a Vet on payroll at their shelter, but I imagine that most Vets would only consider that job as temporary. Possible - RC should aggressively recruit recent Vet School grads, or offer (paid) internship programs for UGA vet school students.
I personally think that strict spay & neuter ordinances or laws must be enacted to strongly encourage people to sterilize their pets or face fines. I have suggested that non sterilized dogs should be considered 'breeding dogs', and their owners should have to register & pay an annual fee - as Breeders.
All of my pets are rescues, and all have been throughout my adult life. I've had purebreds from the pound. I've adopted from rescue groups. I've taken in strays. I've had a dog with a severe disability. I've had a dog that was given to me because a neighbor of her owner had blasted (shot) the dog with a shotgun.
I am not against responsible people breeding to maintain a specific breed, but 'backyard breeders' and puppy mills - pass on defective genetic traits with their litters. (I have adopted & spent thousands of $$$$ on major health issues on some of my adopted dogs, because of interbreeding).
I believe there is a natural affection between humans & dogs, and NOW some recent studies are agreeing with that.
As for me, I'm one of those people that dogs recognize as a 'dog lover' - and always have been. Even people's cranky mean dogs have loved up to me.
P.S. I don't eat pork or beef.

Bizkit
35580
Points
Bizkit 07/11/14 - 07:02 pm
0
1
Corgi your last post was the

Corgi your last post was the best cogent argument- I couldn't agree more. Nip it at the root of the problem
- over reproduction. Great posit.

rescuelove
7
Points
rescuelove 07/11/14 - 07:08 pm
2
0
Facts

Corgimom, you need to get your facts right! When Home for Good Dog Rescue rescues a dog from a shelter, they pay for the fostering, transport, medical, food, toys, etc. the dog needs until they are adopted. That can cost up to $650, as stated on their website. They hold fundraisers and events so they can continue to do this for over 2,700 dogs. Adopters set up meet and greets with dogs so they are meet and interact with the dog, not forced to take them home. It is the adopter's decision. If it doesn't work out with that family, the rescue takes the dog back, not put it in a shelter!!! It is also their policy that each dog adopted from the rescue MUST be spayed/neutered. The whole reason they are a group is to RESCUE dogs and help STOP the overpopulation, not enable it to continue. Why are you so against outside help!? Augusta obviously cannot do it themselves at this point. Isn't the whole point to give these dogs a SAFE and loving home and get them OUT of the shelter alive?!

nicholas757
36
Points
nicholas757 07/12/14 - 07:13 am
1
0
Corgimom and fuzzy math

I read with some amusement Corgimom uses her own posts to show how small the actual profit Home For Good Dog Rescue realizes.

On an earlier post she wrote with an incredulous tongue: "But let's do the math for a minute.

2700 dogs x $335.00 (minimum) = $904,500, roughly $225,000 per year. That's some rescue group."

Also: "Now, I don't know who wrote this, or how accurate it is. Do they REALLY charge $335 for an adoption fee?"
"I think this needs to be investigated further before people condemn Ms. Broady. Something is very fishy about all of this."

She didn't stop there: "If they have placed 400 dogs from Augusta, that's $134,000 in gross revenue right there, and a good chunk of that is pure profit."

On Her more recent post she artfully pulled HFG tax return and posted the results.

"All I know is that Home of Good Dog Rescue, Inc filed a 2012 tax return that said as of 12/31/2012, they had cash of over $119,000 in the bank, and their 2012 revenue was $367K and their expenses were $356K, for a gain of $11K."

It shows a "gain" for the entire year of $11K. Wow really? That means HFG showed a profit of $916.66 PER MONTH.

Far be it for me to accuse Corgimom of having an acute business acumen. If you are so concerned over HFG and other rescue groups making huge profit perhaps you should consider starting your own rescue. I am sure your endeavor could prosper quite well on $30.55 per day!

I am at a loss as to why someone would attack any rescue whose mission is to save animals. For those who make a profit, it allows them to continue to save innocent lives. Shouldn't that be the main topic?

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