YOU can help
writing is so important
job is NOT done because the gas chamber is gone!
is extraordinary evidence that further
reform is needed in Macon. If several hundred people leave this page
without sending even one email, the only victims of inaction will
be the animals.
pen is mightier than the sword. Change happens when individuals make
clear to public officials what they expect, and refuse to
tolerate anything less. In
2009, public emails from all over the country
prompted Macon to demolish their gas chamber ahead of schedule. The
gas chamber demolition was the result of many people's hard labors
over time, including caring citizens and rescue groups in Macon. It
was demolished early because so many people spoke out.
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Thank Macon City Officials for progress to date
officials got rid of the gas chamber on April 13, 2009, and did NOT
wait until July to put bulldoze it into oblivion!
We can justly praise Macon city officials for taking this important
Bring up the importance of the Internal Affairs investigation
step is to ensure humane treatment for Macon’s animals. Compassionate,
responsible, trustworthy staff are absolutely essential not only
to humanely administer any form of euthanasia, but to humanely
care for animals at every step of the way, from the time of their
capture by animal control officers to their final moments at the animal
Internal Affairs Investigation into Macon Animal Control had hit a
few bumps and had to be restarted after the first investigator retired
without having completed a critical police lineup. The second officer
reopened the investigation and established a better interview policy
(not restricting a group of key witnesses to only 15 minutes each
as before and seeking several other key witnesses who hadn't testified
under the first investigator's watch). As of the second week of March,
2010, a third investigator has taken charge of the investigation and
is attempting to get a second police lineup scheduled (with a different
witness) and is looking to wrap up final loose ends. Tell Macon city
officials that you expect to see this investigation handled properly,
fairly, and thoroughly -- and then moved into the hands of the Police
Chief for appropriate action.
Press for privatization of animal sheltering services in Macon
and animals don't mix. Macon appears to be moving toward greater community
participation in its shelter, which is commendable as far as it goes.
But much more can be achieved for the animals' sake. Considering the
current administration's past neglect of these
the hold and adoption functions entirely
is the animals' best bet. Leaving the collection of animals in the
hands of the police authority is appropriate with respect to governmental
power to seize property, including an animal owned by a citizen. But
proper care and housing of animals is outside of any police department's
main concerns, and the animals too often get the short end of the
deal when it comes to care and budgets. Some councilmembers have discussed
the possibility of putting the hold and adoption functions out for
bid. It's time for them to get serious and actually do so, thereby
completing the transformation of Macon Animal Shelter in a way that's
best for the animals and most efficient for the government of Macon.
Outsourcing is an idea whose time has come. Make Macon's Mayor and
city council members know it. Let Animal Control do what they do best
(collecting the animals - with limited use of control poles)
and let the most qualified winning bidder do what they do best (caring
for the animals and finding "forever homes" for them all).
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text - for
a Macon citizen
to praise your decision to destroy the inhumane gas chamber at your
animal shelter on April 13, 2009 rather than waiting until July to
do so. Thank you for this first major milestone toward humane treatment
of animals in our city. It is something we can all be proud of.
Now that true
reform has started in a big way, please remember the importance of
following through. I would first urge you to make sure our animal
shelter starts keeping hours that allow working folks to stop by,
and families to visit on weekends. The many lives of homeless pets
that would be saved through increased adoptions would far outweigh
the small expense required for the minimal staff required to greet
I'd also like
to see shelter animals brought out into the community (to parks, events,
etc.) so we and our families can interact with them without making
a special trip to the shelter; such off-site adoption events are very
successful in other progressive cities.
probably most importantly, I urge
you to make sure that MPD does justice with the Internal Affairs Investigation
into prior shelter conduct. Our shelter's new lethal injection program
is just one area where compassionate people are absolutely essential
to ensure our animals are treated well. After reading the stories
posted on www.shelterreform.com, I am not confident that the current
shelter staff fits the bill. That staff still includes the individuals
who would have done the horrible things alleged in Kathy Selbrede’s
flyer (also posted on www.shelterreform.com).
would make sense to think about outsourcing the hold and adoption
functions at the animal shelter to maximize humane treatment and move
Macon toward becoming a true No-Kill city.
of the gas chamber was worth celebrating. Let's be sure we finish
what we started last year for the animals who are among our community's
most vulnerable members.
for your leadership on this issue,
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- for a tourist visiting Macon
for your decision to destroy the inhumane gas chamber at your animal
shelter on April 13, 2009 instead of waiting until July! I'm writing
to praise your decision. This was a major move in the right direction
– it elevated Macon and makes me proud to visit there again.
In the wake of such a positive move for your community, I urge you
to follow through on your great start by first keeping the shelter
open either earlier or later so that working folks can stop by, and
on weekends so that families can visit. I'd also recommend taking
shelter animals out into the community (parks, events, etc.) so people
can interact with them; off-site adoption events are very successful
in other progressive cities. Next, I would expect that Macon will
see that justice is done with the Internal Affairs Investigation into
prior shelter conduct. FInally, it would make sense to outsource the
hold and adoption functions at the animal shelter to maximize humane
treatment and move toward becoming a true No-Kill city.
I urge you
to continue to bring your animal control policies and personnel in
line with your well-earned reputation as a hospitable tourist attraction
in the heart of Georgia. The destruction of the gas chamber is worth
celebrating. It was an important milestone that you can proudly build
upon as you bring your beautiful city all the way into the 21st century.
for your leadership on this issue.
<your name here>
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addresses for Macon City Council & Mayor
E. Timley, President Pro Tem firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Cranford email@example.com
Council President Miriam Paris firstname.lastname@example.org
or by phone at 478-751-7260
Watkins, Jr. email@example.com
Reichert at the Macon
or call his office at 478-751-7170
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for sending written letters
P.O. Box 247
Macon, Georgia 31202
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Animal Shelter Reform Week November 7-13, 2010
A Prime Opportunity for Macon
4, 2010: There's no better time than National
Animal Shelter Reform Week for the City of Macon to decisively implement
the changes needed to shift out of its current high-kill business model.
Shelter Reform is urging the decisionmakers in Macon to not let this
auspicious opportunity pass the city by. The time is now.
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Police Internal Affairs investigation of animal shelter drawing to a
15, 2010: Shelter Reform had maintained a voluntarily-imposed
"gag rule" since the Spring 2009 launch of the Internal Affairs
Investigation into a litany of allegations of animal cruelty, abuse,
and neglect at the Macon Animal Control facility. Shelter Reform personnel
had abided by this self-imposed rule through the tenures of the first
two investigators/administrators presiding over the Investigation. Now
that the second individual has transferred to another division (after
insuring that a police lineup erroneously omitted during the first investigator's
tenure was properly scheduled and conducted and attempting to tie up
other loose ends), a third officer is now in charge of bringing this
long process to a close.
Selbrede's letter to Lt. Governor Cagle reportedly triggered the investigation
a year ago. The bulk of the witness interviews were conducted at the
law offices of Shelter Reform's counsel to provide a safe haven for
the witnesses coming forward, while the first police lineup was held
downtown at the police department (a second witness's lineup is still
pending). Once the final report is completed, it will be sent to the
Chief of Police for review. The Chief will then decide how to act upon
the results of the Report, after which the Report's contents will become
available for public review under the Freedom of Information Act. Shelter
Reform has acquired hundreds of pages of Shelter documents through Open
Records Requests to better scrutinize the situation that recently prevailed
at the Shelter (although there are indications that the reported improvements
are more than mere propaganda, they actually have substance).
Reform desires to see justice done with respect to any officers guilty
of abuse, cruelty, or neglect. If such individuals are identified, they
should be barred from further interaction with animals. Their continued
presence at the Shelter is inconsistent with the recent marked improvements
that have been reported.
Shelter Reform has recordings of all the witness testimony, those are
being held in trust while the proper law enforcement mechanisms are
brought to bear upon the situation at the Shelter.
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City Council Members propose new animal shelter
Macon council committee tables thorny issues
Chris Horne, firstname.lastname@example.org
City Council's Appropriations Committee tabled its most controversial
agenda items Monday.
effort to outsource the city's medical dispensary, where city employees
receive medical treatment, drew the most discussion. The dispensary
has been without staff after one employee retired and another was laid
off last month. Human Resources Director Ben Hubbard said city workers
are using Caduceus Occupational Medicine until a contract is approved
by the council.
Concerned about the lack of minority-owned companies doing business
with the city, Councilwoman Elaine Lucas requested documents from the
bid process for the dispensary. The company that lost the bid is a minority-owned
business, and Lucas questioned whether the bid process gave the winning
company an advantage. City officials said both companies were able to
see what the other bid, and each was directed to make its lowest offer,
according to the proposalís specifications.
Councilwoman Lauren Benedict, who specializes in workers' compensation
issues, had problems with the ordinance dealing with the contract, too.
As written, she said, the ordinance would direct city workers to the
dispensary first when state law requires them to have a choice from
a panel of doctors.
After 45 minutes of discussion, the committee tabled the issue and asked
for an update in two weeks.
In another matter, Councilman Mike Cranford pulled back an ordinance
that would have moved the director of Channel 14, which airs City Council
meetings, city news conferences and city job announcements,from the
IT Department to the mayor's office.
As the sponsor of the ordinance, he explained that Mayor Robert Reichert
and Chief Administrative Officer Thomas Thomas asked for time to speak
with the affected employee, Ron Wildman.
The committee also discussed formally including the Fort Hawkins master
plan as part of special purpose local option sales tax discussions with
Bibb County. That opened the door for other council members who proposed
adding a community center at Fillmore Thomas Lake, improving Luther
Williams Field, building a new animal shelter and creating
a cultural arts umbrella that would fund various projects.
Councilman Ed DeFore, who sponsored the attempt to have Fort Hawkins
added to the sales tax negotiations, quipped, "You better get the
courthouse to cut one of their floors off if we want to get all these
we want done."
The only resolutions the committee approved were for purchases of vehicles
and equipment. However, a resolution to purchase a flatbed truck was
tabled because the original bid winner could no longer provide the truck.
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helps give Macon animal shelter a perception makeover
January 30, 2010
Chris Horne, email@example.com
Jones has been volunteering less than a year at Macon's animal shelter,
but she's already made a big impression.
Jones was named Volunteer of the Year by the Macon Police Department
and was recognized at a City Council meeting this week.
"I don't think the woman sleeps," Animal Control Director
Jim Johnson said, praising her contributions and energy.
She acknowledged the honor would have been much harder to come by if
it hadn't been for AC Pup, the animal shelter's mascot who was rescued
on the brink of death as a 4-week-old puppy. Thanks to Jones, AC is
among the biggest celebrities in the midstate. His Facebook profile
already boasts a whopping 2,201 friends, a figure that likely will grow
Today from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Jones and her organization, Central Georgia
CARES, are throwing AC a birthday party at the city shelter, 1010 Eleventh
St. She said itís a chance for the public to meet AC, view the
facility and find a new pet to take home.
And that's just the start of her efforts.
Bringing a business-minded perspective, Jones formed CARES with the
sole focus of eliminating the gas chamber used by the shelter to euthanize
animals by July 1, 2009. The group accomplished that early last April
and also helped build a new euthanasia room to create a more peaceful
atmosphere for lethal injections.
After reaching that goal, members immediately set new ones: increase
adoptions and decrease euthanizations.
Johnson said some progress already has been made. From 2008 to 2009,
adoptions increased from 156 to 226 and euthanizations decreased from
4,979 to 4,639.
Jones said sheíll continue fighting on behalf of the animals
we get backing from the community, there ís really no telling
what we can do," Jones said.
Her next big project is the Snippers Committee, an educational push
for more spaying and neutering.
Johnson said other volunteers have focused on negative aspects of the
animal control operation, such as the condition of the building and
its proximity to the city landfill. Jones is the first, he said, to
focus on the positive and encourage others to do the same.
"It's changed the perception of the shelter to the public,"
Councilwoman Nancy White has known Jones almost 20 years. When the council
got involved with effort to eliminate the gas chamber last year, she
said she immediately thought of Jones.
"She's very imaginative and creative," White said, noting
the public service announcements, the bulletin boards and events that
Jones has put together.
have very small resources to work with, of course, and she's like dividing
five loaves and two fishes," White said.
"People aren't going to believe some of the things she comes up
Jones stresses that this movement isn't just about pets.
"There's such a link between compassion for animals and compassion
for people," she said. "We want to raise a generation of compassionate
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gas chamber demolished
14, 2009: While meat tenderizers got a corner on the action
the previous day, it was heartening to see the real demolition work
on the Macon Animal Shelter gas chamber concluding the next morning.
We were able to capture the action on camera below. This was all that
was left of the device by 11 AM.
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Reform attends gas chamber ceremony
13, 2009: We didn't visit Macon to rain on their parade, but
it rained anyway -- badly enough to prevent use of a PA system and keep
everyone hunkered down under the roof of the intake dock where Macon's
gas chamber is located. The parking lot overflowed, forcing us to park
in the mud next door with many other attendees. Due to liability issues,
the sledgehammer originally advertised had to be scaled down to a small
gold-painted meat tenderizer with a ribbon on it. Unfazed by the change
in demolition tool, some dedicated attendees worked over one corner
of the chamber long enough to gouge a significant hole into the cinderblock
structure. It was, in other words, a day of powerful symbols for all
sides to the conflict over the gas chamber.
attendees we recognized included Larry Schlesinger and Nancy White of
the Macon City Council, and Patti Jones of Central Georgia CARES.
Heart of Georgia Humane Society was represented by Donna Conaway,
Carol Lentz, Myshea Robinson, and Laurie Chance. Mary Crawford of All
About Animals, Jari Green of Save A Pet, Shelter Director
Jim Johnson, Assistant District Attorney Kim Schwartz, Police Chief
Michael Burns, and many other interested parties were in the crowd.
Three TV stations covered the event, and we were there running two high-definition
video cameras ourselves. We'll upload our video after we get back to
Texas. The Macon Telegraph posted a brief article (no longer available).
Liz Foster of WMGT (NBC 41) posted her brief but fair synopsis on her
station's website. We expect to see other articles, perhaps by Kimberly
Burden of 13 WMAZ and by FOX-24.
Shelter Reform wonders why the shelter building (where animals are held)
was completely closed off to visitors (even those needing to use the
restroom inside). (IMPORTANT NOTE: We previously reported
that a shelter administrator/technician "made it quite clear to
Kathy that she did not want her picture taken and was visibly resentful
over the transition to lethal injection and the hoopla over it, expressing
dislike for lethal injection when asked about it." However, Paula
Fuller of the Macon Animal Shelter has graciously informed us that,
with the exception of Jim Johnson, all shelter staff had been instructed
to remain inside the building throughout the ceremony.) We have a ton
of material we need to digest concerning the good and the bad about
this important transition day. While there were clear strides made today,
which we do not intend to demean or diminish, not all that glitters
was gold. The much-ballyhooed "certification" that five staff
members received in conducting EBI (euthanasia by injection) is problematic.
Read here to understand
why this is so. The certification, as described by Jim Johnson to Kimberly
Burden of WMAZ, was not a state certification nor did it involve any
higher authority than the city veterinarian watching the techs doing
EBI on Friday April 10. This struck us as an ad hoc certification, rather
homespun and self-authorizing. Kathy has already made clear her documented
reservations about the city veterinarian in regard to the lack of veterinary
care received by Ana and Brandon in the story
that launched this website. We can only hope the city vet is a much
better teacher than he is a steward over the shelter animals under his
the Macon meat tenderizer ceremony, Kathy visited the animal shelter
at Warner Robins for several hours to get the lay of the land there.
(Editor's Note 3/15/2010: The culture of cooperation that exists in
Warner Robins -- city working with the rescuers with all sides
focused on the animals' welfare -- is slowly starting to be practiced
in Macon, where opposition between city and rescuers/animal advocates
had historically prevailed prior to the demolition of the gas chamber.)
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gas chamber to be demolished on April 13, 2009!
9, 2009: Shelter Reform has learned that the gas chamber at
Macon Animal Control is to be demolished Monday, April 13, 2009 at 11:00
AM. Swings with the sledgehammer are reportedly being sold for $10 per
swing to benefit the animals at the shelter. Macon City Councilmember
Nancy White has been identified as the source of this initial report.
If the demolition proceeds as reported, one of the primary purposes
of the founding of Shelter Reform will have been achieved - a relief
to us, and to the many folks in Macon who have worked very hard for
years to get rid of that inhumane death chamber.
There are 78 days between April 13 (demolition day) and July 1 (the
original decommissioning date for the gas chamber) -- 78 days during
which dogs will not be euthanized in that gas chamber. If only ten dogs
a day on average were being euthanized, that would represent 780 dogs
spared a horrific death. In his late March interview with FOX 24 WGXA-TV
(since removed from the station website but preserved here
by Shelter Reform), Macon's shelter director asserted that 30 dogs a
day are now being euthanized. At that rate, 2,340 dogs will have been
spared untold misery thanks to the actions of the Macon city officials
in accelerating the demolition of the chamber. This is a civic decision
that Macon can be justly proud of -- it's an example to other cities
who still have operating gas chambers. This is the Macon Animal Shelter’s
first major step into the 21st century. Let us hope the rest
of the process is handled just as decisively!
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emails shook Macon's City Council into action!
11, 2009 the Macon Telegraph on-line edition posted
a story here
in which a City Councilman "made a special point to relay his annoyance"
about the mass of emails sent to City Council members. "Just tell
'em to stop sending me the damn emails," he said. "Where are
these people coming from?" The story's opening line calling animal
lovers "fanatical" not only reveals that the number of emails
being received was impressive, it also sheds light on where Macon's
media (or at least this reporter) stands regarding the issue. The article
ignores the suffering inside the gas chamber and skirts the issue of
the number of dogs being horribly killed inside the device. The official's
fixation on cash comes through clearly. He may not have intended his
position to sound like he was holding the animals hostage for money,
but that's the conclusion one takes away from the story as written.
(To read about how money was never the issue that kept Macon dragging
its feet over ending the use of its cruel and inhumane gas chamber,
read City Councilman Erick Erickson’s blog.)
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Affairs investigation of Macon Animal Shelter
WMGT (NBC 41) news report originally appeared on
the station website. It was posted by reporter Rachel Schaerr.
It was a great start in directing attention to the Macon Animal Shelter,
but the report was misleading due to errors
Macon Animal Shelter under internal investigation (March 24, 2009)
Police are conducting an internal investigation after residents have
complained about operations at the Macon Animal Shelter.
year the shelter takes in 6,000 dogs and cats. More than half are
put to sleep.
Macon Animal Shelter uses several methods for euthanasia, though the
most common is carbon monoxide poisoning in a gas chamber.
visiting the shelter, City Councilman Larry Schlesinger says he was
present when 17 animals were killed in the gas chamber. "What
I heard was about thirty seconds of what I would term squealing,"
said Schlesinger. "It sort of went a level beyond whining. And
it just let me know, this was through cinder block walls no less.
his experience, he and other city council members joined forces to
try and stop the use of carbon monoxide in Macon's shelter. "A
society is judged by the way it treats the most vulnerable inhabitants,
and I think we could do a much better job," said Schlesinger.
Macon City Council passed a resolution to end that method by July
1st. Lt. Eric Walker with the Macon Police Department says the city
is in the process of remodeling the animal shelter building to add
a euthanasia room. Once it is built the gas chamber will be destroyed.
consider the gas chamber inhumane. Some animals are sedated before
going to the gas chamber, others are not. But, there is no national
standard. Afterwards, officials are under no mandate to check for
a heartbeat. Johnson says he knows of no animals ever surviving, and
added "it's not possible".
Georgia law is different for animals killed through lethal injection.
In that case, animals are tranquilized. Then, officials check for
a heartbeat, which is why it is considered a more humane way to euthanize.
Police Lt. Eric Walker says the shelter has passed recent state inspections
conducted by the Georgia Department of Agriculture, which are conducted
at random several times a year.
in the reporter's story:
The statement that "more than half" of the 6,000 dogs and
cats entering the Macon Animal Shelter are “put to sleep”
every year is a gross understatement:
There were 4,964 dogs and animals euthanized in 2008. That's more
than 82% of the dogs and cats that entered the Shelter (assuming
the 6,000 figure is correct).
-- Animals at the Macon Animal Shelter are not “put to sleep,”
they are killed by putting them all together, unsedated, in the
Macon gas chamber. Click here
to read first-hand testimony about what this is like for the animals
in Macon's gas chamber. Click here
to see what the Macon gas chamber looks like. Can you imagine 17
dogs packed together in this small enclosure?
Councilman Rabbi Schlesinger confirmed to me on March 4, 2009 that
the Macon Animal Shelter is still using their gas chamber and is NOT
yet doing any lethal injection. If the Macon shelter IS using "several
methods" of euthanasia, then what, exactly, are they?
3. Macon city officials could have ended the use of their gas chamber
in 2008, but Mayor Reichert, Animal Control and Animal Shelter Director
Jim Johnson, Police Chief Mike Burns and the City Attorney opposed
doing so, using budget concerns as their excuse.
Money is not the obstacle that prevents Macon from ending the use
of their gas chamber immediately (see post by a Macon council member
Even with a “euthanasia room,” replacement of the current
Macon Animal Shelter Director and staff with competent and compassionate
individuals is absolutely essential to ensuring that Macon’s
animals are treated humanely at every step during their stay in the
Macon Animal Shelter. Click here
to read about why a competent and compassionate staff is critical.
The gas chamber is inhumane. Click here
to read about gas chambers.
7. Ms. Schaerr's article might be understood to imply that the Macon
Animal Shelter may sedate some animals before putting them into the
gas chamber. Whether or not this has ever occurred we cannot say,
but we can state with confidence that this is not routine practice,
that most animals are not sedated when they are placed all together
in Macon’s gas chamber.
Confirmation of death for ALL euthanized animals, for all forms of
euthanasia, is indeed required by law (O.C.G.A. § 4-11-5.1 2008).
Confirmation of death by a "qualified person" is required,
but since animals have survived gassing in Macon (see #10 below),
the staff members were clearly not qualified to confirm the death
of the animals that revived.
9. The Macon Animal Shelter does not comply with the Georgia Code
(O.C.G.A. § 4-11-5.1 2008) that requires qualified people to
be present from the start of euthanasia until the animal is dead.
Georgia law is clear: "No dog or cat may be left
unattended between the time euthanasia procedures are first begun
and the time death occurs, nor may its body be disposed of until death
is confirmed by a qualified person." On March 9,
2009 when Rabbi Schlesinger testified before the House Sub-Committee
in Atlanta, he said he witnessed Macon’s gas chamber in operation
in January of 2008 (click here
for his full testimony). He testified that after the gassing, the
presumably dead dogs were left in the chamber, unattended, for several
hours. When Rabbi Schlesinger asked the person who had operated the
chamber why the animals were left in the chamber all day, the man
answered, “To be sure they’re dead.” The hideous
experience ended sometime in the afternoon when a dump truck arrived
and the contents of the chamber were simply dumped into the bed of
the truck, transported a short distance to the landfill, and discarded
like garbage. When
the sub-committee hearing was over, someone asked Rabbi Schlesinger
if the animals were not put into plastic bags before being dumped
into the landfill. The Rabbi said when he observed the gassing, they
were not; but at some point after his visit, the pound began putting
the bodies in bags because citizens with children who had brought
their household garbage to the landfill had complained about the dead
bodies piled up. This poses an even worse nightmare: animals possibly
awakening inside plastic bags ...
It is indeed possible for animals to survive the gas chamber. Eye
witnesses confirm that some animals are alive after they are removed
from Macon’s gas chamber. One eye witness has yet to tell his
story publicly. The other is an employee at the City Dump and fears
retaliation for coming forward. (Verified reports of dogs nationwide
that have survived gas chamber euthanasia, such as Quentin
are only the tip of the iceberg.)
Animals are not always tranquilized before euthanasia by lethal injection.
Sedation is done at the discretion of the euthanizer.
Lethal injection, when it is performed by a competent and compassionate
person, is the most humane method of euthanasia. Confirming death
by checking for a heartbeat after an animal has been euthanized
is an issue that is separate from the form of euthanasia
used. Verification of death is a critical part of making ANY form
of euthanasia “humane.”
Changing from gas chamber to lethal injection will not solve the problems
for Macon’s animals. A compassionate and competent staff is
absolutely required to humanely administer any form of euthanasia.
See the article posted here.
Considering the Rabbi’s testimony in number 9 above, and the
true stories posted by Kathy and Myshea, the reader can draw his/her
own conclusion about the compassion and competence of the current
Macon Animal Shelter staff.
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following WGXA (FOX 24) news report originally appeared on the station's
website on March 24, 2009, but was later removed. It was posted by reporter
Adam Hammond. We've cleaned up some typographic and grammatical errors
that were in the original posting. We have strong misgivings about the
motivations behind the original report, as well as the depiction of
the situation as presented. As time permits, we will post a response
to this material.
economic turmoil is affecting every segment of the population including
the animal kingdom. Experts say as the economy gets worse the population
in animal shelters is rising.
"I'm seeing maybe two or three people a week bringing in animals
saying they can't afford it anymore. So yeah it's happening,"
said Macon Animal Control Director Jim Johnson.
says the Macon Animal Shelter is near capacity with around a hundred
animals a week. He says they have euthanized up to thirty a day. Not
only are animal shelters around the country seeing an influx because
of the economy, but they're also seeing a decline in donations.
the donations don't have to be in the form of cash. I know they need
towels, blankets, and bleach. There are things you have in your closet…
in your linen closet that they desperately need down here," said
Dr. Linda Smyth.
Edsel Davis says people don't realize the costly venture of buying
a pet, and that's why the Macon Animal Shelter picks up abandoned
animals off the streets daily. He says there are areas of pet care
you can save, but knowing if you can or cannot afford a pet could
save a life.
are some expenses involved and there are really no short cuts to doing
those kinds of things. There are generics now that you can use rather
than brand names so to speak," said Veterinarian Edsel Davis.
If you decide you can afford a pet and that situation won't change
in worsening economic times there are a few things Davis says you
must do for your animal. They must get all necessary shots and heartworm
treatments as well as flea care.
Jim Johnson says he's watching the economic climate closely to determine
what the rest of the year will be like for his shelter.
set up to take them everyday now. So we can take in more. We'll just
have to move things around and do as we do everyday," said Johnson.
you can donate food, supplies, or even gently used towels, contact
the Macon Animal Shelter at 478-751-9200.
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(demolished April 14, 2009)
photo below was taken in February, 2009 before Macon demolished their
gas chamber. Kathy is on the right walking the English Setter puppy.
The other young lady is walking a very pregnant Maggie (rescued from
the GA-96 median by Kathy the day before). The white structure behind
Kathy is Macon's gas chamber. Because too many cities in America still
own and operate such gas chambers, we will continue to offer this
more complete view of the Macon gas chamber and how it was operated.
Can you imagine 17 dogs packed together in that small wire cage,
as Larry Schlesinger
witnessed in January of 2008? Another young lady (not shown)
was walking the brown puppy that was gassed shortly after this picture
was taken. The blue shoe covers are supposed to prevent Parvo from being
tracked into the shelter. Read Kathy's story about what she experienced
at the Macon Animal Shelter here.