Critics of animal rescue darken rescue’s rally - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Critics of animal rescue darken rescue’s rally

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Carole Bukis says Casper, her 4-year-old Great Pyrenees, wouldn't be alive if it wasn't for the woman behind Happy Tails Rescue.

"Barbara Gleitsmann actually saved his life; he was in the Columbia, South Carolina area. They were going to put him down," Bukis, said.

Gleitsmann got Casper out of the shelter and covered all of his medical expenses.

But her work with animals at Happy Tails is done for now. The Georgia Department of Agriculture suspended their operating license for various violations.

To show their support for what she's done for their dogs, the Bukis and dozens of other people rallied in front of the Columbia County Government Center Tuesday afternoon.

Her supporters also followed her into the Commission meeting; where she told Commissioners what the rescue has done for the community.

Even though Commissioners don't have jurisdiction, Happy Tails advocates asked Commissioners if there was anything they could do about the rescue's suspension.

After Gleitsmann spoke to Commissioners, Tiffany Vernier, a former volunteer at Happy Tails, had her turn.

She claimed she saw animals living in their own feces at Happy Tails and she says several animals even died.

She didn't speak to the media, so we asked Gleitsmann about her claims.

Fox54's Mark Barber asked, "She showed six animals that passed away, she said they were animals at Happy Tails, what's your response to that?" Gleitsmann said, "You can believe me, please Mark, I'm the one whose run this for 10 years."

Vernier didn't present any evidence to back up her claims; Gleitsmann says the condition of her animals is her defense.

"Look at all those pets; does one of them not look like they're well cared for?" asked Gleitsmann.

Commissioners had an opportunity to make a motion about Happy Tails but no one moved to find a way to keep the rescue open.

"I'm very disappointed that they didn't have anything to say when the opportunity was presented to the councilmen to make a motion; to me they are cowards," Bukis, said.

Commissioners didn't speak to the media.

Gleitsmann says her hope for Tuesday's rally was to make Commissioners and the community aware of what Happy Tails has done for the community and she believes they accomplished that.

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