TIGER — An animal shelter in northeast Georgia has been accused by a former employee of charging people money to help save the lives of dogs and cats, then having those animals killed anyway, according to a TV news report.
The Boggs Mountain Humane Shelter in Tiger offered what it called the “Lucky Dog and Kitten Program.” WAGA-TV reports that by paying a fee, animal lovers or people giving up pets could sponsor dogs or cats at the shelter, which promised it would not kill the animals and would use the money to cover veterinary treatments. The program cost $100 for Rabun County residents and $140 for others.
Former shelter employee Lynne Cousins told the TV station that the shelter’s director, Lowanda Kilby, ordered the euthanization of some pets in the program. Cousins said the shelter sent letters and emails to people who paid the fees claiming that euthanized pets had been adopted into new homes.
Cousins said she was asked to resign after speaking with the TV station.
“There’s only so much a sane person can stand, that their conscience can take,” Cousins said. “And my conscience just can’t take it anymore.”
One woman, Dede Dosedel, cried after learning that the $140 she paid only kept a dog alive for 15 days. Records obtained by WAGA-TV showed that eight minutes after the animal was killed, Dosedel received an email from the shelter claiming the dog had been adopted.
“I thought that was a deal to be able to help a dog for $140, to save its life,” she said.
When confronted by the TV station, Kilby denied that two specific pets in the program had been euthanized. She refused to comment further and did not return a phone message left at her home by The Associated Press.
The Rabun County Sheriff’s office has started an investigation examining whether the shelter broke laws against theft and animal cruelty, Chief Investigator Gerald Johnson said. No one has been charged so far. Johnson said the sheriff’s department has requested assistance from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.