Happy Tails Rescue forced to close, owner fears community will s - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Happy Tails Rescue forced to close, owner fears community will suffer

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The Georgia Department of Agriculture has cited the CSRA Happy Tails Rescue dozens of times over the past eight months for minor violations such as rusty cages, a rodent problem and cobwebs in the ceiling.

After their last inspection, the Department of Agriculture decided to suspend the rescue's operating license for a year.

The owner, Barbara Gleitsmann had one month to find homes for all the rescue animals.

"Thirty-eight and in a month we've done that," Gleitsmann, said.

The rescue was also fined $1,800; Gleitsmann says she doesn't understand how this happened.

"All the inspections since 2005 were fine. Then starting in July of this year all of a sudden nothing we have done is satisfactory; from the lighting to the fans, it was like being kicked in the gut," she said.

Now the only dogs left at the rescue are boarding or they belong to Gleitsmann.

Columbia County Animal Control officials say when Happy Tails was open; they took 70% of their animals.

Gleitsmann worries if they aren't able to rescue animals any more other shelters will feel the strain.

"I feel like this is an unjust decision and the community will suffer immediately if it hasn't already. The animals will too because we're not able to pull from local shelters," Gleitsmann, said.

Gleitsmann also believes the suspension will result in more animals being euthanized because fewer animals will be adopted out of shelters. So she's hoping to change the terms of their suspension.

"We've already paid our fine in total, thanks to the generosity of four wonderful folks. We have placed all our animals and our attorney has requested that the suspension has been shortened to two months," said Gleitsmann.

While they're waiting to hear back from the Georgia Department of Agriculture, Gleitsmann says she will start asking officials to implement the mandatory sterilization of dogs and cats in Georgia.

She says that help would help shelters provide better care for their animals and it would curb animal over population.

Gleitsmann tells Fox54 supporters of Happy Tails are planning to rally Tuesday in front of the auditorium at the Evans Government Complex at 5:15 p.m.


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