‘One was tied to a tree’: Animal rescue group talks saving over 30 animals from Brooks Co. hoarding situation

Man charged previously charged in 2016 hoarding case
Video from WALB
Published: May. 30, 2022 at 5:58 PM EDT
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QUITMAN, Ga. (WALB) - A Brooks County man is facing animal cruelty charges after 31 dogs were found on his property.

Richard Jerry Mcleod, the same man charged in a 2016 case when 70 dogs were hoarded, is facing more than 30 animal cruelty charges.

The Brooks County Sheriff’s Office, Thomas County Animal Control and Fur Kids all responded to the scene.

Samantha Shelton is the founder of Fur Kids, an animal rescue group.

She said they didn’t expect so many animals were able to be recovered.

Shelton said two puppies died, but it could have been worse. She said the primary issue the animals faced was malnutrition. Fortunately, she said that is easier to come back from.

“One was tied to a tree. There was no way he could find a way to escape for food or water. So many, if not all, didn’t have access to the proper nutrition,” Shelton said.

The animals were exposed to flees and mosquitoes.

Shelton said more help is needed to prevent these types of cases.

“These people will go on to do it again. They prove it every time. They will go to do it again. They have to be policed, but we lack the resources to do it,” Shelton said.

Fifteen puppies, seven dogs and nine kittens were saved from the home on May 26.
Fifteen puppies, seven dogs and nine kittens were saved from the home on May 26. (WALB)

Shelton said recent strides have been made so that animal hoarding doesn’t continue.

“Animal cruelty now is a felony. That’s been something we’ve been hoping for many years. So it’s a great thing now that it’s a felony,” Shelton said.

Shelton said they are still unsure of how the animals were hoarded, but there are ways to prevent it from happening.

“You can get them off animal control, you can get them off the street, you can get them on Craigslist. They post ‘free puppies, free kittens.’ We tell them don’t do that,” Shelton said.

The animals are being held in Atlanta, but Shelton said she is willing to work things out if any South Georgians would be willing to adopt.

Thomasville/Thomas County Humane Society, who also responded and helped at the scene, issued the following statement: “There is a long history with this hoarder in particular. We personally pulled three times the amount of animals off his property years ago. This time will hopefully be the last.”

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