Only on 12: PETA wants criminal investigation into animal shelter employee

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News 12 at 11, October 11, 2007

AUGUSTA, Ga.-- A national animal rights organization is now stepping in asking for a criminal investigation into what's going on at the Richmond County Animal Shelter.

Today PETA emailed Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver.

PETA tells News 12 it's offices have been bombarded with phone calls and emails from viewers. Now, the national office is calling for a criminal investigation and they hope the mayor will help.

Its a story of alleged abuse with a long paper trail, but the latest group to weigh in brings national attention to the case.

"The photos were heartbreaking. Absolutely heartbreaking." says Teresa Chagrin who has worked with PETA for twenty years. She says the organization wants to get to the heart of the matter and find out if shelter manager Priscila Crisler committed a crime.

"We've gotten numerous phone calls and emails from area citizens who are very distressed." says Chagrin.

They are distressed over what happened to these two dogs while they were under Crisler's care at the shelter.

The chow mix was hit by a car. It broke it's leg and it's tail was scraped off. It received no medical attention for \three days.

Sweetie was burned in a house fire. She sat for thirteen full days with no treatment, not even pain medication, and her condition only got worse under Crisler's care.

Chagrin, "If the allegations are true, if the animals were left in that situation without any care, we feel that would violate the state statute against animal cruelty."

PETA hopes their letter to Mayor Copenhaver "vigorously urging" a "criminal investigation" will make a difference.

"It's very important that a complete investigation be undertaken. And I think this is a great opportunity to see some change, some real change for animals in your community."

In their letter, PETA also says the shelter appears to be violating national policies outlined by the Humane Society of the United States.
Augusta's shelter charges pet owners a disposal fee for unwanted animals that are sick or injured. It's a 50 dollar fee to cover the costs of putting the animal down. PETA says it's a dangerous policy that keeps people from bringing pets to the shelter, and in some cases causing the animal to suffer even more.

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