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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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Judy Location: Augusta on Oct 14, 2007 at 06:45 PM
    I believe animals should not suffer under the care of Richmond County. Ms. Crisler was directly responsible for the welfare of those animals. Have her go before a judge and be judged for cruelty.
  • by Bruce Location: augusta on Oct 12, 2007 at 03:49 AM
    Benjamin continued, And as for the kennels manager’s efforts there was none that I could prove otherwise, why didn’t she and the vet get the dog some pain medicine. As for those three you named agreeing with you wow! I wonder why they agree? As for me making it all about me, hardly, the director gave my name to the news media along with my private cell number. You and your band have tried to make this about me instead of the animals that suffered needlessly or the fact that anyone including your friend the kennel manager should be put in front of a judge and let him decide.
  • by Bruce Location: augusta on Oct 12, 2007 at 03:42 AM
    Benjamin, you must be very confused and did not listen when your friend was telling you what to write. First, you cannot recognize a fact if it was a snake and bit you. The owner of the chow with the broken leg called the 911 dispatch the day we picked up the dog. He was informed our department was closed. He was told to call the kennel manager the next day. According to him he did and told her he would not be reclaiming the dog because, he could not afford treatment. I personally spoke to the owner and had an officer go and get the signed release form the day I found out about the animal. He was not on his way to get the dog.
  • by Bruce Location: augusta on Oct 12, 2007 at 03:30 AM
    Beth in NC, do not worry even if the kennel manager is replaced I am sure you will continue to be able to get animals. I do however think that North Carolina officials should look into your group. Obviously if you do not think it is cruel for an animal to be in pain and suffer for 13 days you are most likely capable of doing the same.
  • by Bruce Location: Augusta on Oct 12, 2007 at 03:29 AM
    Anonymous, obviously you are a coward and afraid to identify yourself and to speak your mind and stand up for something you believe in. Also, I have not been convicted of anything so you should check the record before making false statements. And furthermore, you should know what you are talking about or listen better to the facts before you say something you know is untrue. Finally, I despise anyone you or her for allowing an animal to suffer when it did not have to.
  • by Bruce Location: augusta on Oct 12, 2007 at 03:11 AM
    Next Linda, Obviously you are a close friend of the suspected animal abuser or you are unable to see and are visually impaired. Let me put it to you this way. Some one has thrown hot water on you and burned you. You go to anyone of the local hospitals for treatment and you lie there for 13 days and get no treatment at all not even any pain medicine. Then when you do get seen it is to late and you have to be killed, HMMMMMMM maybe if this happened to you we should praise the doctor for a job well down. You are obviously heartless and care nothing about animals if you can defend this person after looking at the pictures alone.
  • by Bruce Location: augusta on Oct 12, 2007 at 03:00 AM
    OK let me start with Edwin and Kathleen, sister and brother-in-law to Christine the former employee of Augusta Animal services, comments. I admire you for trying to inspire people to help volunteer at the shelter but shouldn’t you be volunteering and be knowledgeable of the facts before you defend the kennel manager. I am there everyday and I know who volunteers and I have not seen you there since your sister quit. Before you make comments make sure you know the facts and are doing something to help.
  • by Concerned citizen Location: Augusta, ga on Oct 10, 2007 at 11:54 AM
    Ok Mr. Mayor. Lets hear your input on this horrendous situation! Please do the right thing.Remove Downs and Crisler from their positions.
  • by heather Location: augusta ga on Oct 10, 2007 at 11:30 AM
    May i ask what kind of training does Ms. Downs ( the director ) have regarding cruelty investigation?
  • by Pet Owner Location: Augusta on Oct 10, 2007 at 09:58 AM
    Whoa! Whoa! Everybody get off your "soapbox". You're going into abortion and other subjects that don't pertain to the issues at hand. Lets stick to the problem at hand and let the Mayor handle what should have been handled by other supervisors!!!!
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