THOMSON, Ga. (WJBF) – A local animal shelter is facing allegations ranging from animal cruelty to misconduct.
“The animal shelter is not what you think it is and it’s heartbreaking. It’s heartbreaking,” Maria Salvaggio, director of 2 Hands Saving 4 Paws Humane Society, said in a video posted to YouTube.
A series of social media posts sparked an internal investigation into accusations of animal cruelty and misconduct at McDuffie County Animal Shelter.
Some allegations are recent, and others date back years.
“We appreciate people bringing these to our attention. We absolutely wish they would have been brought years ago. We understand from a lot of people we’ve talked to that have contacted us that some of these issues have been in place for five years,” said Jason Smith of McDuffie County Community Development.
The shelter is currently vacant and it’s unclear when or if the doors will open again.
“As we move through this investigation and we come up with wherever that ends up, that will be something we evaluate at that point in time,” Smith said.
Smith says the investigation is almost complete. From there he says the county plans to reevaluate how they operate animal services.
“How does this look for us going forward? Again we don’t know yet. That’s something we’re going to deal with as we wrap up this investigation, we sit down and have some long, very thoughtful discussions about this and we’ll see what the future brings,” Smith said.
McDuffie County Animal Shelter will be undergoing an inspection of the facility and practices by the Georgia Department of Agriculture.
All staff employees are on paid leave for the duration of the investigation.
Smith says if you need to turn over a stray animal, contact local rescue groups or surrounding county shelters.