80+ dogs seized from Americus pet store owner's property - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

80+ dogs seized from Americus pet store owner's property

By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  More than 80 dogs were seized from a pet shop owner's rural Sumter County property Wednesday.

Investigators say the dogs were living in filth and unsanitary conditions. They believe the animals, which ranged in age from five weeks to several years, were being bred to sell in the Jungle Pet Store in Americus.

Cruelty to animals charges have been filed against pet shop owner Margie Davis, and she is being held in jail under a $3,500 bond.

Margie Davis, the shop owner is a former Americus Police officer and has surrendered her breeders license to the state. She apparently knew law enforcement were coming Wednesday and tried to clean up many of the dogs, but officials say the conditions were still bad enough that they seized the dogs for their own safety.

You could hear the dogs barking from Highway 195. Shortly after noon, the first load of dogs was brought out. Animal control officers stopped briefly to show us the dogs they seized.

"They notice a lot of neglect of these animals and the fear of these animals dying they asked that we assist them in executing a search warrant up here on this property," said Sumter County Sheriff Pete Smith.

We weren't allowed on Margie Davis' property, which is between Americus and Andersonville on Highway 195 . The Department of Agriculture initiated the investigation and the Sheriff's Office spotted the kennels while in the air looking for marijuana fields.

"I think she just ended up with more dogs than she could actually look after. She said it takes her about an hour to feed these animals," said Smith.

Pictures show the conditions of Davis' kennels. Feces is piled up in cages, water bowls were filled with a dark slime, and dogs have matted fur.

"Feces everywhere you had a lot of feces in the hair and coating on the animals," said Smith.

All of the dogs were brought here to the Sumter Humane Society, their fate is still unknown and it will be a lot of work for the Humane Society workers to care for these dogs.

"We need canned food we need flea shampoo we need money to treat the medical issues these dogs have," said Melissa Andrews Sumter County Humane Society Board of Directors President.

All the dogs will be evaluated by a local Veterinarian. Humane officials hope to find all the animals homes if they end up in their custody.

"This is a situation you don't want to happen, but we are so grateful these dogs have clean water and have clean food and warm beds and we're going to give them all the care that they need," said Andrews.

They hope to have enough resources to care for all of the dogs, but plan to call on neighboring shelters if needed.

Davis' business partner told us she acquired a lot of the dogs after her friend Barbara died in a fire and there was no one else to care for the dogs.

The District Attorney is reviewing the case to determine what charges may be filed against Margie Davis. The Sheriff's Office says Davis cooperated during today's search and seizure.

If you want to help out the Sumter Humane Society, they're in need of soft food, flea shampoo, and monetary donations to cover the Vet bills.  They have a PayPal account set up on their web site for donations.  You can find their web site at www.sumterhumanesociety.org

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