Although this is a rather long posting, I thought this message from Jim Willis about Canine Angels is important enough to take up a little space.
Please distribute the following press release, send messages of protest to the agencies and media listed below, and be sure to SIGN OUR PETITION:
Dewy Rose, Georgia, USA, May 22, 2006
One of the most published animal advocates in the world is calling for Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue to intervene and save a well-known no-kill animal sanctuary, Canine Angels in Dewy Rose from being shut down. Author Jim Willis whose essay How Could You?” has been published in over 40 languages and whose best-selling book Pieces of My Heart” has been published in seven countries says the States treatment of Canine Angels and its founder/director Sue Wells is criminal.”
Wells and co-director Lynette Rowe ran into legal difficulties with Georgia’s Department of Agriculture and were charged with animal cruelty. All charges were later dropped but in the bargaining Canine Angels will be forced to give up about 150 dogs and over a dozen cats by June 3 and faces fines of $15,000. Local animal welfare advocates say a former animal control officer who was fired was instrumental in causing the difficulties for Canine Angels. Animal advocates from as far away as Europe are gearing up for a protest action that could include asking animal-lovers everywhere to boycott the State of Georgia and Elbert County.
The charges were totally unfounded and caused them to lose donors and volunteers and adopters,” Willis said and stated he was flooded with information that included eyewitness accounts and photographs about the sanctuary and the excellent condition of the animals as well as suspicious actions of the authorities, especially the former animal control officer.
I think they have a real basis to sue for damages,” he said. Sue and Lynette have driven themselves to exhaustion and the poorhouse saving those animals, restoring them to health, and basically taking over the responsibilities of the community and local government for animal care. Instead of being praised for their efforts and assisted, they’ve been persecuted. Worse, the authorities plan to seize the animals and banish them to kill shelters where their fate is certain. The State browbeat them into submission and forced them to accept a bad deal that Sue agreed to as the only chance to save her animals lives. Meanwhile, there is illegal dog fighting going on down the road from Canine Angels and the authorities are ignoring that situation!”
Animal advocates say if the State does not intervene and grant the sanctuary more time to reduce its animal population by adopting out animals and allow it to continue operating as a no-kill facility, and drop the fines imposed on Wells and Rowe, they will call for an economic boycott.
Americans keep more pets and spend more money on their pets than any country in the world,” Willis said. We pour over $38 billion per year into the national economy. We vote our conscience and we have economic might. Canine Angels has been spending money locally, struggling for existence, and has been basically ignored, including by the media. The allegations about the improprieties committed by some officials, the lies and concerted effort to bring down such a fine animal rescue and placement effort are out there and should be investigated.”
It is nothing short of scandalous what the authorities in Georgia have done to these two women. And in the process they have put their animals in jeopardy. We know from reputable sources that the animals at Canine Angels are healthy and live in sanitary conditions. They are getting proper care, exercise, love, and are able to live without the threat of a premature death,” wrote Mary Alice Pollard in Cornwall, England, to the international animal welfare community. Pollard represents the International Organization for Animal Protection, affiliated with the United Nations Department of Public Information, and founded Cornwalls Voice for Animals.
Willis, Pollard and other animal advocates are circulating contact information for county and state departments and the media and asking animal lovers worldwide to join the protest. He is confident the Governor will respond.
Were asking everybody to call Gov. Perdue at his office 404-656-1776 Dept. of Ag. Commissioner Tommy Irvin at 404-656-3600 or 800-282-5852, the Animal Protection Division at 404-656-4914, and the Elbert County Commissioners at 706-283-2000,” Willis said.
He added, Georgia has a governor who is also a veterinarian, he is the father of a minister, he and the First Lady have been foster parents of children and she has volunteered for a children’s youth ministry. These are compassionate, educated, sensible people of faith. Surely they can see that what Georgia’s Dept. of Agriculture and Elbert County are trying to do to Canine Angels is criminal. Their actions are definitely sending a wrong message about Georgia.”
In her appeal for support for Canine Angels, Mary Alice Pollard stated Recently I’ve read increasingly more about animal shelters in the USA where the animals are abused by their caretakers and killed in the most horrific ways and this in public funded facilities. I think it is time the media demand that the authorities start cleaning up the real problems over there!”
For more information contact:
Northeast Georgia CANINE ANGELS Rescue & Referrals, Inc.
Sue Wells & Lynette Rowe
2179 Pulliam Mill Road
Dewy Rose, GA 30634 USA
Phone: 706-213-9001 or 706-296-4488
Visit our website for more information about our rescue & placement efforts
Many of the animals desperate for new homes are pictured here
Without your help our precious rescued animals may only have a few weeks to live. Please take a few minutes out of your busy lives and distribute this message to your lists and address books, to the media, and please ask Georgia’s Governor, State and local authorities to spare the lives of our animal friends.
– Governor Sonny Perdue – Phone 404-656-1776 web site
– Dept. of Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin firstname.lastname@example.org- Animal Protection Division – Phone: 404-656-4914/Fax 404-463-8195 Email: Animal Protection Section
– The Georgia Legislature web site
– Contact info for all Georgia House of Representatives web site
Elbert County Board of Commissioners
– Phone 706-283-2000/Fax 706-283-1818
Melna Cornell Chairperson, District 4
Timothy Case Commissioner, District 3
Ted Dye Commissioner, District 2
Horace Harper Commissioner, District 1
Jerry Hewell Commissioner, District 5
– Georgia Tourism – 800-VISIT-GA
404-656-3590/ Fax: 404-651-9063
– An extensive list of Georgia & National media web site
– Complete list of e-mail addresses & fax numbers for Congress, Senate & Governors web site
– Directory of National animal-related organizations web site
– Directory of Georgia animal-related organizations web site