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Shelter Reform doesn't hesitate to publish letters from readers of the website, whether positive or critical. Feel free to send your comments to us at

Shelter Reform's Editorial Policy

We reserve the right to correct typographical and grammatical errors, but will otherwise leave the wording of any received letters intact and preserve their original meaning. We reserve the right to delete profane or obscene content. And we reserve the right to comment on the content of letters received.

MARCH 23, 2009 1:23 PM by ANONYMOUS

You are woefully uninformed and flat out spiteful. Before you go on a witch hunt maybe you should do research that is based in fact, not on the say-so of volunteers who are not there on a day-to-day basis.

Furthermore, you are criticizing individuals for a shelter location that they have no control over. Can you control the physical building location of your job if you don't own that business? No.

You're encouraging the public to take action. Well, I agree. The public should be taking care of the dogs they own instead of letting them run wild all over Macon. They should be spaying and neutering their animals so they are not left with an abundance of animals they can't take care of.

If the public is so worried, why don't they host fundraisers to help finance the upgrades and relocation of the shelter? These are some suggestions of what you can do with all that energy you so apparently have, instead of sullying the names of good people in our community.

SHELTER REFORM RESPONDS: We criticized no individuals for the shelter location, but rather the civic mentality that led to its construction inside the landfill. We agree with the need to spay and neuter pets, as our flyer and website make abundantly clear. Macon rescue groups have sponsored fundraisers to finance the upgrades, only to find the goalposts being moved by the shelter management after raising those funds. If you're saying that the events witnessed are exceptions and not the rule, why do we have reports extending back 23 years, to 1986? If a behavior is repeated hundreds of times, that makes it a pattern. Why do some of those witnesses remain anonymous? Maybe for the same reason you went out of your way to cloak your email address to hide your identity. Yet we published your letter anyway. And, for the record, the one Animal Control Officer we dealt with directly, Nathan Millwood, bent over backwards to accommodate us at the Macon Shelter (as we've reported here) and showed exceptional compassion for the animals under his care. It is our personal impression that he wished the gas chamber were no longer operating.

We don't intend to sully the name of any good people in Macon, and good people have nothing to fear from Shelter Reform. But the city will have to bear the responsibility for sullying its own reputation in regard to its taxpayer-funded operations.

While you assert that we're woefully uninformed, you provide no evidence or proof against the materials we've marshalled. You've simply pooh-poohed it. Assertion is not proof. With an internal affairs investigation now in progress* concerning the Shelter's operation, the truth should come out. If there is substance to the issues raised, the investigation will, we hope, bring it forward. A sullied reputation might then be the least of a person's worries.

Since you sent your email to our Shelter Ratings email address rather than reaching us through our Contact page, it's not clear to us that you studied our site very carefully. But we thank you for visiting here and writing us, because all letters are welcome ... even from anonymous critics. And you HAVE put your finger on the core problem correctly: irresponsible pet ownership. On that point, we are in strong agreement.

*This response was written and posted in March 2009, and one year later, March 2010, that Internal Affairs Investigation into animal abuse/neglect through early 2009 at Macon Animal Shelter is still ongoing. Shelter Reform kept a low profile during the Investigation to provide the best possible environment for objective inquiry into the charges, rather than ratcheting up negative PR inappropriately. Shelter Reform simply desires justice and isn't trying to create a reputation for muckraking. The fact that Shelter Reform could legally have reported details about the Investigation but refused to do so is proof we are operating in good faith when it comes to the Macon Animal Shelter, whether or not the Shelter acknowledges this fact.

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Openness is the Key

To the extent Shelter Reform maintains an open forum in regard to the problems it tries to address, it will be known to be fair-minded.

One way to insure openness is to publish the letters from our critics. If we aren't confident that our work can withstand the scrutiny of critics, we have no business sponsoring this website.

We do, of course, hope to hear from folks with positive feedback about the work we've undertaken in regard to Macon and elsewhere.