Updates to the story will be posted at the bottom. Check back often. I look forward to your feedback and will keep you updated on developments.
Hannah, a four year old German Shepherd was formerly owned by a Tattnall County, GA, K-9 Handler and from a very young aged was used as a breeding machine, confined until her muscles atrophied, starved and neglected. When she was deemed no longer useful, she was surrendered to Animal Control facility in Reidsville, Georgia (about 75 miles southwest of Savannah - in Tattnall County) with orders to euthanize her.
At the time of her surrender, Hannah, known at the time as Haunna, was in horrific condition. She had been starved, was severely emaciated and weighted only 41 lbs. Her pads were so wounded that she walked on her haunches and her fur was rubbed off in many places due to confinement. She was also pregnant and gave birth to three stillborn puppies while at the animal control facility.
On February 7, 2007, she was rescued by the Southern Cross German Shepherd Rescue.
Hannah was taken to a vet and on the way she began to bleed, mostly from giving birth combined with her extremely poor physical condition. Following is a statement from the vet;
Today, I examined Haunna (now Hannah), an approximately four year old GSD. During the examination, it was noted Haunna is severely underweight. On a typical scoring scale, with 3/5 being a normal, healthy weight, Haunna is a low 1/5. This type of body condition is typically only noted in dogs suffering from long-term cancers or long term starvation. No signs of neoplasia (cancer) were noted in Haunna. Haunna had hair loss on her caudal thighs consistent with long term kenneling, skin disease, or both. If you have any questions, or other infomation I can provide, please don't hesitate to call.
Will Baldwin, DVM
Cornelia Veterinay Hospital
Cornelia, Ga. 706 778-6605
We have written documentaion from vets proving this abuse. We have results from lab testing, xrays etc.
Nothing could cause this kind of horrible condition, but starvation, long term kenneling, over breeding amoung other types of abuse.
When Hannah gained enough strength she was spayed. She also tested a very strong heartworm positive and is now undergoing Hw treatment.
Hannah,s case had to be turned over to the GBI - Georgia Bureau of Investigation, because the person that owned her was associated with the law enforcement in Tattnall county as a K-9 Handler.
Southern Cross and Hannah's new owner are trying desperately to get justice for Hannah but it is beginning to look like they are trying to either sweep it under the carpet and hope it will go away or cover it up. They have also heard that her previous owner has acquired another dog to replace Hannah as his new breeding machine.
This case is being investigated by the GBI Region 5 Office in Statesboro, Georgia, Atlantic Judicial Circuit District Attorney,s Office in Tattnall County. The District Attorney is Tom Durden. They will not release the name of the abuser, the K-9 handler with Tattnall County. No charges have been brought.
The DA will now not take or return calls regarding this case. Hannah,s new owner has tried to take this case to the media since law enforcement seems unwilling to do anything. She contacted WTOC and initially they were interested in the story, until DA Tom Durden told them that the only reason that Hannah was so emaciated was because she has cancer. Hannah does not have cancer.
Why is the law enforcement authorities so unwilling to bring charges against the abuser? Is it because he is a member of law enforcement? Are they trying to cover this up?
Hannah was neglected, abused then tossed away like worthless trash when her owner no longer deemed her useful, ie. able to breed so as to continue to fill his pockets. She still has a long road to recovery and is undergoing treatment for heatworm, a serious and life threatening condition.
Hannah deserves justice!! She is a living, breathing, feeling creature who deserved love and care, not to be thrown away like trash! And just what kind of life is her replacement going to have?Please help us get justice for Hannah!!
What can you do?
District Attorney Tom Durden
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
945 E.G. Miles Pkwy
Hinesville GA 31313
Please help to get Hannah,s story out! Use the email link below and send this out to everyone you know, sent it to the media, to law enforcement, post it on your websites, blogs and anywhere people will see it and help to fight against this injustice!! ,Do not let this happen to another dog!
UPDATE - 4/23
An attempt was made to post this story to the Tattnall Journal to get some additional coverage and bring it to the public,s attention. This is the response:
From: Allison Cobb
Date: Wed, Apr 23, 2008 at 4:13 PM
To: The Juninator
Well, I cannot post it online since the incident is
still under investigation and has not been finalized
yet. We know the K-9 handler personally and as usual,
the information out there is not the whole story.
We will run it in the paper when the investigation is
What I would like to know is, what is the rest of the story? No one seems to want to come forward with it not that I believe there is any way that anyone could possibly come up with a valid reason that a dog could wound up in Hannah,s condition aside from extreme neglect and abuse.
It also seems that the identity of the abuser isn't a secret to everyone, just those trying to get justice done!Please visit: http://petloverstips.com/ForTheLoveoftheDog/
for updates on this horrible abuse to such a sweet girl named Hannah!!
Please, we have yet a case of K-9 handler abuse. Please help bring justice for this handler's abuse to his loyal friend:
Finally the media pick up the story and investigates but rather than answers, we have more questions.
Deputy, Sheriff claim no dog abuse
REIDSVILLE, GA (WTOC) - Animal lovers around the country are reading about claims of animal abuse against a deputy in Tattnall County. They want the officer charged for what they say was neglect and over breeding.
The deputy claims the dog was already in bad health when he got her. Looking back, Deputy Ramsey Arnold wishes he had never taken in Huanna, a German Shepherd as his personal dog last year.
He said got her from another law enforcement officer, K-9 handler, breeder, trainer. It wasn't connected with the sheriff's office. I asked the man I got Huanna from if anything was wrong with her. He said no, she was just naturally small and that he used her as a breeding dog Arnold said.
When the sheriff'soffice picked Arnold to be the county's new K-9 handler, he had to find new homes for his two dogs. He gave one to a friend. But he brought Huanna to the county animal shelter in hopes they could find her a new home.
Representatives from Southern Cross German Shepherd rescue adopted the dog. On websites like dogster.com, group members report a veterinarian found cystic nodules they said are consistent with over breeding and heart worms. Group members and other animal supporters want Arnold charged with animal cruelty. But Arnold said he cared for the dog in the three months he had her and didn't have her long enough to breed her at all.
If all the accusations were true, I should be prosecuted to the fullest he stated.
Sheriff Quinton Rush disagrees with email accusations of a cover up. The same time this was being investigated, we had a murder, we had a child who had been molested. I had one investigator and had him do this first, Sheriff Rush explained.
Sheriff Rush stated he then took the case to the GBI to examine the case as an outside agency. Special agent John Edwards said they have delivered their findings to the district attorney's office. Edwards said agents had talked with Southern Cross members, veterinarians and law officers.
Atlantic circuit district attorney Tom Durden stated by phone Monday his office would decide whether or not to file charges by Friday.
Watch the video and interview, then see if you can answer the questions below it or if you have the same questions;http://www.wtoc.com/Global/story.asp?S=8274524&nav=menu89_2
- Call after call was made to DA Tom Durden prior to going public with this story with requests for information but for some reason no information was forthcoming until now, when a major media outlet gets involved.
- If Deputy Ramsey Arnold had Hannah for three months why was she still severely emaciated? She weighed only 41 pounds when she was turned over to animal control. Protruding ribs is a pretty sure sign of malnourishment. Long term starvation was what the vet said who examined her. In the short time that she was fostered and adopted, she was able to easily put on weight and become much more healthy.
- If Deputy Ramsey Arnold had her for even only three months, why had she not been vetted? Any decent responsible vet would have been blind not to see the severe problems Hannah had.
- How could a K-9 handler, someone who should know something about dogs, not know that she was pregnant? A dog's gestation is approximately 63 days, Deputy Arnold claims he had her for 3 months, if he didn't breed her, how did she get pregnant to give birth to three stillborn puppies shortly after she arrived at animal control?
- If in fact Hannah was in such deplorable condition when she was given to Deputy Ramsey, there is still someone out there responsible for her condition, for the abuse she suffered. Who is this person, this law enforcement officer, K-9 handler, breeder, trainer.
- Perhaps Deputy Arnold is not guilty of the long term problems that Hannah suffered from but she was still starved, not medically cared for and had been bred while in his custody. These facts do not speak of innocence to me!
This is not a witch hunt! Someone abused, neglected, starved and overbred this dog. This is the person who needs to be charged with animal cruelty. Why is it so hard to get answers? It still sounds like the abuser was a member of the law enforcement. Why will no one get to the bottom of this?
Honorable Governor Sonny Perdue,
As a citizen of this good state, animal lover and pet guardian, I find myself writing to you at the highest level of justice in my frustrations of trying to get answers and simply seeking redemption for one who relies on the humanity and decency of everyday people.
After numerous requests and growing support from all over the country I was informed that the person, Deputy Ramsey Arnold who forfeited her to the shelter would not be charged.
Calls after calls were made to DA Tom Durden prior to going public with this story with requests for information but for some reason no information was forthcoming until now, when a major media outlet gets involved.
I am very troubled with some of the replies, questionable reasoning and lack of follow up on devastating actions that Hannah has had to pay for with her health and almost her life.
Particularly troubling are these facts;
If it is true that Hannah was in such deplorable conditions when she was given to Deputy Ramsey, there is still someone out there responsible for her condition and for the abuse she suffered. Who is this person and why is this not being investigated? I would have hoped to think a man in position to serve and protect would have the immediate instincts and moral judgment to pursue the answers for such injustices.
How could a K-9 handler, someone who should know something about dogs, not know that Hannah was pregnant? A dog's gestation is approximately 63 days, Deputy Arnold claims he had her for 3 months, if he didn't breed her, how did she become pregnant to give birth to three stillborn puppies shortly after she arrived at animal control and in such devastating health?
Even if Deputy Ramsey Arnold had her for only three months, why had she not been seen by a vet when it was so obvious she was in peril? Any decent, responsible human knows that there are basic actions we humans must uphold to ensure the safety and health of the pets under our guardianship and any veterinarian would have immediately been aware of the severe problems Hannah had and quickly move to act on her best interest and healing.
I wonder yet again if Deputy Ramsey Arnold had Hannah for three months why was she still severely emaciated. She weighed only 41 pounds when she was turned over to animal control. Protruding ribs is a pretty sure sign of malnourishment even under a GSD coat. Long term starvation was what the vet reported who finally was able to examine her and there were also many other obvious physical signs of neglect such as body sores, missing patches of fur and she was heavily flat footed due to being isolated and unable to move or exercise any movement and a severe case of heart worm. In the short time that she was fostered and adopted, she has easily put on weight with no signs of lacking appetite ever and has traveled smoothly on the road to recovery. She has learned what a walk is, that it entails movement of her body and the simple pleasures of freedom. She has also finally found her voice. The first time she barked I think she not only surprised me but herself and this is coming from a four year old adult dog.
Currently she is going through the long and rocky process of heartworm treatment, something along with many other hurdles could of been prevented if a person was responsible.
Perhaps Deputy Arnold is not guilty of the long term problems that Hannah suffered from but the facts are, she was still starved, never medically cared for and had been bred while in his custody all the while living in basic neglect. These facts do not speak of innocence to me nor does it make me confident that Deputy Arnold would act with compassion and justice in other situations. You simply cannot turn on and off these emotions, important traits of character or morals and this is what concerns me beyond the injustices Hannah was dealt. There are other dogs, pets and there are people like myself...everyday citizens who expect decency and honor amongst those who choose to be in professions we are supposed to look up to and have confidence in.
Thank you for your time, sincerely,