News 12 viewers file incident report, want criminal charges pressed

By: Lynnsey Gardner Email
By: Lynnsey Gardner Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock, October 8, 2007

AUGUSTA, Ga-- People who saw News 12's exclusive investigation into alleged animal cruelty at Richmond County's Animal Shelter are taking action.

Some are neighbors, others complete strangers, but now they they are united; fighting for those who can't fight for themselves. The five women went together to the Law Enforcement Center to file an incident report. They hope it leads to criminal action against the kennel manager and the shelter's director.

"It was very upsetting, to know that they suffered." says Pat Burtt, one of the concerned viewers and she's not alone.

The story of what happened to these two dogs, is making activists out of news viewers.

For Dorothy Taylor, it began last Wednesday when she watched News 12's exclusive story of alleged animal cruelty against the Kennel Manager at the Richmond County Animal Shelter.

Another Manager at the shelter, Field Supervisor Bruce McClure, accused Priscilla Crisler of animal cruelty because of what happened to two dogs.

The chow mix was hit by a car. It broke it's leg and it's tail was scraped off completely. It sat for three days in a pen with no medical attention.

Sweetie is the second dog. She sat for 13 full days with no aid after she was burned in a house fire.

"If they can't be helped they need to be euthanized right away. They don't need to be laying there." Burtt adds.

"Supposedly the city doesn't think it's animal cruelty but to me, it's animal cruelty in the worst way." says Dorothy Taylor.

When News 12 questioned City Administrator Fred Russell, he said he found no malice on Crisler's behalf.

The city did take action in light of our investigation, but Russell could not comment as to what was done since it is a personnel matter.

Still, for these women that wasn't enough.

"Somebody dropped the ball somewhere." says Betty Henegar.

"If you abuse them, you should be prosecuted for it." adds Taylor's daughter, Elizabeth Strength.

After an hour's wait, Taylor and her group met with an investigator, and filed their report.

Taylor, "I don't see how they could not find animal cruelty. The pictures are there. The proof is there. I feel bad for these two dogs. And you wonder how many more have suffered and will suffer if they keep their jobs."

The Sheriff's Office says an investigator is already assigned to this case. It will still be a few days before any decisions are made about criminal charges.

As for the state's investigation, led by the Department of Agriculture, their spokesperson says their findings could take several weeks.

However, there is more word from Bruce McClure, the manager who wanted to press the charges in the first place. Today (October 8) he wrote an open letter to Mayor Copenhaver, Fred Russell, as well as the County Commissioners, and Diane Downs.

If you'd like to read the letter, see the link below.


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