Georgia Shelter rated one of the "Cruelest" among local rescue community. Help us stop the madness!!

Walker County Animal Shelter, (Georgia - USA), is in serious need of change. Local officials seem to think that it’s acceptable for the euthanasia rate to be in the 90% range.  Based on an article in the WALKER COUNTY MESSENGER 1/12/07, the new shelter manager stated that 9 out of 10 dogs and cats are being euthanized there TODAY.  This is a 20% drop in the rescue rate since the new shelter manager was hired 7 months ago!  They take in around 96 animals per week - you do the math!  

TV media have been requested to "step-in" and break this story and its cruelty countless times. One media reporter told us that it was too far to travel. 

The Chamber of Commerce touts of the "beauty and history" of this northwestern county, luring newcomers to "live and thrive" in this rural county. Made up of 8 independent areas; (Lafayette, Chickamauga, Flintstone, Kensington, Lookout Mountain, Noble, Rock Spring and Rossville), it contains the oldest and largest Civil War battlefield in the United States.  The history of the civil war is important to tourism, as is the reflection of the significance to the naming of Georgia's counties after our Native American people.  Speaking culturally, you may not be familiar with Walker County and its "not so good" history, as it is also known for some of the most horrific events, animal disregard is just the latest exposure. 
  • In 1838, Chief John Ross House, chief of the Cherokee Nation had to lead the last of his people to their most certain death on the Trail of Tears. Yes it started in Walker and adjoining counties. 
  • In  2002, national news coverage exposed one of the most disturbing incidents related to Tri-State Crematory, who you may recall was responsible for what was described as a scene from a Stephen King movie. Hundreds of rotting corpses were found on their premises in sheds, on the grounds, scattered through the woods. One report detailed a graphic scene of an infant's body which was found in a box in the back of a rusting hearse on the premises. Some bodies had become mummified and may have been thought to have been at the site more than 20 years!!!!!!!!
  • Today, February 12th 2007, the horrific events continue with the treatment in "life and death" of the counties domestic animals at the hands of the Animal Control Shelter.  
Our agenda here is not political, rather it’s ethical. We care about the animals in Walker County, in life AND in death.  The shelter manager’s consistent unwillingness to work with rescue groups has reached a fevered peak. The cruelty and stories recounted from witnesses (i.e. horrific conditions of cruel killings) is unacceptable. One rescuer described having first-hand experience of witnessing a shepherd suffering for three hours crying in pain after being injected incorrectly with euthanasia formula.  Another speaks of a cat killed by being intentionally thrown into a wall as told by the new shelter manager on her watch.  The new shelter manager doomed a very adoptable lab to death because he had a touch of mange on his shoulder.  She told the rescue who wanted him "Spend your money on healthy dogs, this one will cost too much to save".  Former employees of the shelter will not come forward for fear of their family and animal’s safety.

The commissioner (Bebe Heiskell) seems to be highly uninformed; (or perhaps looking the other way) as she sadly thinks the rescue rate is somewhere in the 30% range. (Even that is too low)! Should she be held responsible? It’s your choice.  The current shelter manager seems very unwilling to allow anyone to come in and help her "move" animals to adoptable situations. She told one rescuer that she determines the "green mile" participants by how they greet her at their cages. If they don't greet her at the gate with tails wagging, they are euthanized!  The builder said there was no heat installed in the new shelter so what about cold, scared or timid dogs!  Why isn't there heat in this shelter?!

We wonder if the shelter staff and Country management should  be held to the same standards for animal cruelty? Under the current law for the state of Georgia, CODE ANN. § 16-12-4 et seq. -- last amended 2000, the statue summary states: A person commits the crime of cruelty to animals if the person: Commits an act, omission, or neglect which causes unjustifiable physical pain, suffering, or death to any living animal; knowingly and maliciously causes death or physical harm to an animal by rendering part of such animal's body useless or by seriously disfiguring such animal. Cruelty to animals is considered a misdemeanor, with fines up to $1000 per incident and imprisonment up to one year.

If you truly care about the animals of Walker county shelter, help us speak for the voiceless. Let's show them that the community of the "like minded" goes beyond the citizens of Walker County, and goes out to the concerned world!
  • Help us send a message to the media, and the County officials that they need to take note of all these acts of cruelty and find a compassionate group of rescuers; (shelter manager) who can make a difference in increasing the adoption rate in Walker County.
  • We need to  put someone in that position who is willing to work towards educating the public on spay and neuter laws, and giving these animals a fair chance to be re-homed. 
  • Ask the Commissioner to hire a qualified individual to run this shelter who is willing to put the amimal's welfare first.  
  • Inform the Chamber of Commerce Director, that this incident has influenced your desire to visit one of the most historical places in Georgia.
  • Ask Local Legislators if they know what is happening in their fair state.
  • Tell the media you won't stand for them not taking note to help use their resources to notify surrounding communities of these tragedies.


County Commissioner

Bebe Heiskell

Walker County

PO Box 445

Lafayette, GA  30728



Chamber of Commerce

Robyn Johnson,

Director of Tourism & Public Relations

at (706) 375-7702



Local Legislators

State Rep. Jay Neal
Republican; represents District 1, which includes portions of Catoosa County and Chestnut Flat, LaFayette, Pond Springs, Peavine, Chickamauga and Fairview precincts in Walker County
Local mailing address: 813 Windy Trail, LaFayette, Ga., 30728
Local phone: (706) 638-6518
Capitol address: 401 Legislative Office Building, Atlanta, Ga. 30334
Capitol phone: (404) 656-0152Capitol fax: (404) 656-0250Email:
Committees: Appropraitions; Children and Youth; Economic Development and Tourism;
Public Safety (vice chairman)

State Rep. Martin Scott
Republican; represents District 2, which includes Dade County and Wilson, Cane Creek, East Armuchee, West Armuchee, Daugherty, Kensington, Cedar Grove, Rossville, Mountain, Chattanooga Valley, Wallaceville and Fairyland precincts in Walker County
Local mailing address: P.O. Box 7, Rossville, Ga. 30741
Local phone: (706) 861-7045
Capitol address: 601 Legislative Office Building, Atlanta, Ga. 30334
Capitol phone: (404) 656-0263
Capitol fax: (404) 651-8086
Email address:
Committees: Banks and Banking; Energy, Utilities and Telecommunication; Industrial Relations; Ways and Means (secretary)State Sen.

Jeff Mullis
Republican; represents District 53, which includes all or parts of Walker, Dade, Catoosa and Chattooga counties
Local mailing address: 519 Cove Road, Chickamauga, Ga. 30707
Local phone: (706) 639-0499
Capitol address: 121 C State Capitol, Atlanta, Ga. 30334
Capitol phone: (404) 656-0057Capitol fax: (404) 463-4161
Committees: Economic Development and Tourism; Public Safety and Homeland Security (vice-chairman); Appropriations; Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Economic Development (chairman); State and Local Government; Transportation (chairman)

U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal
Republican; represents 10th District, which includes Walker County and all or parts of 14 other counties
Washington address: 2133 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C., 20515-1010
Washington phone: (202) 225-5211
Washington fax: (202) 225-8272
Local office address: 108 W. LaFayette Square, Suite 102, LaFayette, Ga., 30728
Local office phone: (706) 638-7042
Local office fax: (706) 638-7049Email:

U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss
Republican; represents the state of Georgia
Washington address:416 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510
Washington phone: (202) 224-3521
Washington fax: (202) 224-0103
State office address:100 Galleria Parkway, Suite 1340, Atlanta, GA 30339
State office phone: (770) 763-9090
State office fax: (770) 226-8633
Email form available at:

U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson
Republican; represents the state of Georgia
Washington address: 4 F. Russell Courtyard, Washington D.C. 20510-1006
Washington phone: (202) 224-3643
Washington fax: (202) 228-0724
State office address: 1175 Peachtree St. NE, Suite 300, Atlanta, GA 30361
State office phone: (404) 347-2202
State office fax: (404) 347-2243


Local Media contacts:  

11 Alive Valerie Hofs:
Walker County Messanger: 706-638-1859 Nathin Frick  

Atlanta Business Chronical
Phone: (404) 249-1000
Fax: (404) 249-1048
Address: 1801 Peachtree St, Ste 150 Atlanta, GA 30309 

Phone: (404) 526-5151
Fax: (404) 526-5610
Address: 72 Marietta St NW Atlanta, GA 30303- 

CNN Website:
Phone: (404) 827-1500
Fax: (404) 878-0891
Address: One CNN Center, PO Box 105366 Atlanta, GA 30348- 

Phone: (404) 827-2659
Fax: (404) 588-2116
Address: One CNN Center Atlanta, GA 30348-

WGCL CBSWebsite:
Phone: (404) 325-4646
Fax: (404) 327-3004
Address: 425 14th St NW Atlanta, GA 30318  
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