ANIMAL OWNER SPEAKS OUT
is a letter to the editor that appeared in The Monticello News yesterday,
December 1, 2011. It concerns Jasper County’s
animal control. We have received calls
and have been asked who is the animal control officer. Kelley Bowen is the animal control officer in
and know your rights!
have never been able to tell my side of the story, I would like to use this
letter to let people know what really happened in the “animal hoarding case” as the paper called it.
with dogs or cats or livestock needs to know what can happen to them if the
animal control officer comes to their house.
waited since August 2nd when all my animals were confiscated to find
out just what laws in Jasper
County I was
breaking. On November 22nd I
went to the courthouse again to find out if I had been charged with
anything. Ladies in both the Magistrate’s office and in the Clerk of Court’s office
told me there was no case to be found, but I am now receiving threatening
letters from the county attorney saying the county is going to file criminal
charges against me.
home about 5PM on August 1st this year to find a Sheriff deputy and
the animal control officer on my property.
I asked them how long they had been there and the animal control officer
said two hours.
animal control officer then demanded to be let into my house. I refused, but she told me she could get a
search warrant and if she had to do that it wouldn’t be pleasant. Why was she on
my property for 2 hours without a search warrant?
next day the animal control officer came back with 2 officers and stated ALL my
animals were going to be removed from my property. She also said that if an animal bit her, I
would be charged, so I loaded them for her while she talked with the officers.
that day she brought a man from the Department of Agriculture back with
her. She kept wanting me to sign
something to give up my rights to my animals and I would not do it. The man from the Department of Agriculture
told me that there would not be any criminal charges filed if I signed the
document and I could get my dogs back.
found out that this document was a surrender document and it said I could “not take any action against any party involved regarding the final
disposition of the pet(s).”
realized that the animal control officer filled this form out and it states
that I surrendered the animals back to myself.
I have tried to find out where my animals went or what happened to them,
but no one will let me see or know anything.
original document I got from the animal control officer was the Magistrate
order. It said that all my animals would
be impounded by the Jasper County Animal control and “remain in their custody until adjudicated by the Magistrate court.” I have waited since August 2nd
til today to find out what the charges were and there are still no
charges. BUT my animals, all but 4 that
I got back, were all gone from Jasper
County within 3
days. I would like to know what happened
animals confiscated, I had 4 female AKC registered pugs and 3 male AKC
registered pugs. The female pugs I got
back about 2 weeks later, but I especially want to know what happened to the
male pugs. I cannot find out what
happened to them or to any of the other animals taken by the animal control
officer. AKC registered pugs are
valuable, and mine were loved and well taken care of.
August 15th I was given a letter signed by the animal control
officer telling me what I could or couldn’t do and what I had to do. This letter said I had to have my female pugs
spayed. I later found out that the
animal control officer did not have the authority to make me do this when the
county attorney told me in September that I did not have to have this done.
letter it also says, “It is understood by all parties
that the County has waived criminal prosecution through the State of Georgia
for the violations resulting from case #.”
There is no case number entered and as of November 22nd there
was no case # at all.
county attorney has written me two letters recently telling me he was going to
file criminal charges against me. Why
can the county go against its own promises and conditions and why haven’t I been able to find out what these charges are?
to see Greg Wood, the county manager, and asked about a citation 20 days after
all this started. He told me it would be
determined. He also told me I would
never be able to find out who filed a complaint against me and anything I said
to him could be used against me in court.
August 2nd I was told by the animal control officer if I surrendered
my roosters, which I did, I could keep the chickens I had for eggs. On August 17th a notice was left
on my door by animal control stating that someone would be there that evening
to take my chickens away. She also had
someone drive up in my yard a few days later and take my 14 year old neutered
pot bellied pig because she said he was too fat and someone would have to
monitor his food.
I had 3
horses and I was made to give these up as well.
I later found out that animal control has no control over livestock and
roosters, chickens, pigs and horses are considered livestock. Is the county going to pay me for these
animals that they took illegally?
picture that you ran in the paper about the confiscation of my animals did not
show a starving animal. None of my
animals were starved. However, when I
got my 4 female pugs back from animal control about two weeks later they had
all lost weight.
my animals were neglected because I love all of them. They all had food, water, and shelter. Many of these animals were strays that people
had dumped and I nursed them back to health.
The dog in the picture was one that had been dumped off at my
house. I had asked a girl that worked at
animal control about 2 months before this raid if I could bring the dog in and
she told me they didn’t have room for it and to
wait. Soon after that the dog had 6
my rights have been violated. The animal
control officer and deputies trespassed on my property and then threatened me
if I didn’t let them come into my house even though they
didn’t have a search warrant.
animals were taken without giving me the reason why or allowing me any recourse
to state my side of the story in court because a citation has never been
issued. Prior to August 1st I
was never issued a warning and given a chance to correct whatever was
complained about. I lost not only the
pets I loved but also my livestock.
county attorney is threatening me with criminal charges but I have never been
told what the charges are nor given a citation.
County treat all their
citizens this way or only the ones that have no means to fight back?
you for letting me tell my side of this story.
I don’t want people thinking that I
hoarded and mistreated animals. Nothing
could be further from the truth.
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informed as to where and how their tax dollars are
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and laws being discussed and enacted.
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spending, and lower property taxes.