A grand jury returned animal cruelty indictments this week against three former employees of the Davidson County Animal Shelter as investigations continue into allegations of abuse there and at the Guilford County shelter.
Arrest warrants were issued yesterday for Marsha Williams, the former executive director of both shelters, as well as her daughter Dana Williams-King. Also indicted was Marissa Studivent, another director of the Davidson shelter.
Williams also faces two felony counts of obstructing the investigation and one felony count of possessing a controlled substance at the Davidson shelter.
Both facilities were managed by the United Animal Coalition, a Greensboro-based nonprofit that took over operation of the Guilford shelter in 1998, and took control of the Davidson shelter in December.
Both shelters had their licenses revoked by the N.C. Department of Agriculture in August.
The indictments stem from claims that the three women neglected to provide humane treatment to a dog admitted to the Davidson shelter in May with a broken back, the Greensboro News & Record reported.
The dog had been diagnosed with paralysis from the shoulders down, but she languished in her kennel for three days with no veterinary care before being euthanized.
That was the incident that sparked an investigation by the state Department of Agriculture, which found abnormally high numbers of animals had died in their kennels at the Davidson shelter.
The Lexington Police Department has been investigating the shelter, as has the federal Drug Enforcement Agency.
Despite the indictments, those investigations remain ongoing, as does a a separate investigation into the Guilford County shelter, by the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office.
(Photo: Marsha Williams, by Lynn Hey / Greensboro News & Record)
Posted by John Woestendiek September 10th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal shelters, animals, cruelty, Dana Williams-King, davidson county animal shelter, director, dog, dogs, greensboro, guilford county animal shelter, indictments, investigations, lexington, Marissa Studivent, marsha williams, neglect, north carolina, pets, united animal coalition, warrants
Citing 75 incidents of animal cruelty and a “systemic failure to care for animals,” the N.C. Department of Agriculture on Monday yanked the United Animal Coalition’s license to run animal shelters in Davidson and Guilford counties.
The non-profit organization has been running Guilford County’s animal shelter since 1998, when it was hired by the county to improve conditions.
Seventeen years later, the same sort of allegations have resurfaced during continuing investigations by state and county officials as well as the federal Drug Enforcement Agency.
Department of Agriculture reports mention more than 100 cases of animals receiving inadequate medical care, including a cat with a broken leg and internal bleeding that went seven days without being seen by a vet and a dog with a gunshot wound to the face who went 12 days without medical attention before being euthanized.
The former shelter director in Guilford County, Marsha Williams, was suspended with pay earlier this month. As of yesterday, that pay was halted and Williams was officially terminated under the orders of the county commissioners.
The Guilford County Board of Commissioners convened an emergency meeting Monday, voting unanimously to revoke the United Animal Coalition’s contract and to place the shelter under the county’s control on an interim basis.
A letter of revocation was delivered by hand to the shelter yesterday.
“The things we’ve learned are very disturbing and unacceptable, as I know it is for the community as a whole,” Commissioner Hank Henning, the board’s chairman, said at a press conference after the county commissioner’s meeting. “Our goal is to put transparency and a culture of efficiency back into the shelter, so the community at large can get the services and the shelter that it wants and deserves.”
The N.C. Department of Agriculture has been investigating both shelters for about a month following complaints about animal care and conditions, according to the Greensboro News & Record
The Davidson County investigation began after the state agency received a complaint that a dog had arrived at the shelter with a broken back but received no veterinary care.
The federal Drug Enforcement Agency continues to investigate potential unspecified violations at both facilities.
Also still investigating are the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office and the Lexington Police Department.
“To be quite frank with you, I expect to see criminal charges come out of this,” said Guilford County Sheriff BJ Barnes.
Deputy County Manager Clarence Grier will serve as interim director of the Guilford County shelter, which will remain closed the rest of the week.
The facility is expected to reopen Aug. 22.
(Photo: Former Guilford County Animal Shelter director Marsha Williams; by Lynn Hey / Greensboro News & Record)
Posted by John Woestendiek August 18th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal, animal cruelty, animals, care, cats, closed, contract, contracted, davidson county, director, dogs, greensboro, guilford county, inadequate, lexington, license, marsha williams, medical, non-profit, north carolina, pets, revoked, shelters, terminated, united animal coalition, veterinary
A dog who was dragged behind a car in Kentucky seven years ago now helps people who are dealing with an illness in their family.
Roadie, an 8-year-old beagle and a certified therapy dog, greets guests at the Hospital Hospitality House of Lexington, WKYT-TV reports. The facility provides temporary overnight accommodations to family and friends of patients in Lexington area hospitals.
“Everybody loves Roadie,” said Hospital Hospitality House Executive Director Lynn Morgan. “Roadie knows people very well and she knows how to make them feel comfortable.”
In July of 2004, the beagle was dragged on the street behind a car in Pulaski County, losing an eye and nearly her life. Dennis Wayne Fitzpatrick, of Somerset, pled guilty to cruelty to animals and was fined
After the accident, volunteers at Hospitality House put in an application to adopt her. Morgan said that initially he wasn’t sure the house was the place for a dog.
“To my surprise I was wrong, it was a very good place for a therapy dog. Roadie has been a companion and a caring counselor to our guests,” he said. “She is so much like the people who stay with us — she’s been through a very difficult medical situation and she survived it.”
Posted by John Woestendiek February 23rd, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, beagle, car, dogs, dragged, dragging, families, health, hospital hospitality house, hospitality, hospitals, illness, injured, kentucky, lexington, one-eyed, patients, pets, recovery, roadie, therapy, therapy dogs, video
Authorities say up to 14 dogs were involved in the fatal attack on a former University of Georgia professor and his wife, as they walked near their home in Lexington.
The dogs that mauled Lothar Karl Schweder, 77, and Sherry Schweder, 65, were known to neighbors, belonged to a many who used to live nearby, and had not shown signs of aggression before, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported. The newspaper reported later today that the dogs, all mixed breeds, will be euthanized.
The dogs were still standing over the slain couple when the coroner arrived at the scene on Saturday. They seemed to be guarding the bodies as if they were prey, said James Matthews, coroner for Oglethorpe County. “They were not aggressive whatsoever,” he said. “I guess that’s what makes the attack so hard to figure out.”
An autopsy performed at the GBI Crime Lab concluded that the dogs were responsible for the deaths. “There’s nothing to indicate foul play,” said Jim Fullington, special agent in charge of the GBI’s Athens office.
Sherry Schweder was out looking for one of her own six dogs when she was attacked. Her husband was killed after he went looking for his wife, Matthews said. Their mutilated bodies were found by a pair of visiting Jehovah’s Witnesses about 12 hours after they went missing.
The dogs belong to a man who used to live in the area but was forced to move because of medical problems, neighbors said. A friend would take the former owner to the property to feed the dogs, they said.
Matthews said the dogs, rounded up Monday afternoon by animal control officers from a neighboring county, showed no signs of malnourishment or rabies and said Oglethorpe County had never received complaints about the dogs.
Fullington, the GBI agent, said he was not sure what would happen to the dogs.
Lothar Schweder taught German at UGA, and his wife worked as a humanities bibliographer at the university’s main library. They were known as avid animal lovers and often walked their dogs on the same quiet road where they died.
Posted by John Woestendiek August 18th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: attack, attacked, autopsy, couple, dogs, killed, lexington, libary, lothar karl schweder, mauled, ogelthorpe county, professor, schweder, sherry schweder, university of georgia
The baby in Kentucky who was injured when dragged outside by the family dog is slowly improving, and his condition has been upgraded to critical.
Alexander James Smith, A.J. for short, was pulled from his bassinet, which makes more sense the original reports that he was removed from his crib, by the family dog, Dakota, at the family’s home in Jessamine County. The dog dragged him about 200 yards into the woods behind the house.
The baby suffered collapsed lungs, a fractured skull and broken ribs among other injuries. His father , Michael Smith, said the dog won’t be coming back to their home, but that he hoped it might be able to find a new one.
The dog is still under quarantine at the Jessamine County Save Center, which reports having received hundreds of calls have flooded the Jessamine County Save Center wanting to adopt the dog.
“I appreciate the concern and the outpouring of support, even from complete strangers,” Smith said. “It has been overwhelming and really comforting and helped us get through this difficult time.”
Posted by John Woestendiek July 28th, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: A.J., baby, condition, dakota, dragged, injured, jessaine county save center, jessamine county, kentucky, lexington, michael smith, news, serious, snatched, video, woods
A four-day-old child dragged out of his crib and into the yard by the family dog remained in critical condition yesterday at University of Kentucky Hospital in Lexington.
Michael Smith and his wife Chrissie say when they checked on their baby Monday afternoon, he was not in his crib.
Smith told the Associated Press he headed to the family’s wooded, two-acre backyard, knowing that Dakota, a mixed breed described as a “Native American Indian Dog,” had a reputation for stealing household items and depositing them there.
Smith said when he found the dog, it was treating the baby, named Alexander James Smith, as a puppy and wasn’t being vicious.
Despite that, the infant suffered two collapsed lungs, a skull fracture, broken ribs and cuts and bruises.
Jessamine County chief deputy sheriff Allen Peel said no charges had been filed, but the case remains under investigation. He said he expects the dog, named Dakota, to be destroyed by animal control, which took him into custody Monday.
Smith said the 4-year-old was one of three dogs the family had owned since they were puppies and he had no history of aggression or problems with Smith’s two other children from a previous marriage.
Posted by John Woestendiek July 22nd, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: american indian dog, baby, critical, dakota, dog, dragged, infant, injuries, jessamine, kentucky, lexington, mixed breed, news ohmidog!, outside, pets, video