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Letter to the editor
No shelter offered to countys animals
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Forsyth County News


  I visited the Forsyth County courthouse today to copy records pertaining to the civil lawsuit brought Oct 14, 2008, by Mitchell Greenway, plaintiff vs. Forsyth County and NALAA, the corporation that is contracted by Forsyth County to operate the county animal facility. I will not call it a shelter because that implies that it is a “safe place” and it’s far from that.

The civil suit alleges that Mr. Greenway, who was very ill from complications from a surgery and was being taken by ambulance to the emergency room, was forced to sign over his two beautiful, healthy, yellow labs, Misty and Dakota, even though two neighbors had agreed to care for the dogs until Mr. Greenway made it home.

Three days later, when a neighbor went to get the dogs out of the facility at 1902 Old Atlanta Road, they had been killed. This is a matter of public record so anyone is free to go to the courthouse and view or copy these records I am referring to.

The Forsyth County sheriff, Ted Paxton, a deputy, and Forsyth County are being defended by the lawfirm of Jarrard and Davis. I would love to know the amount of money this alleged negligence and alleged cruelty has cost the taxpayers of Forsyth County.

Whatever amount it is, it is a waste of money.

The commissioners have sought bids from architects, builders and organizations to operate a new shelter, but have taken no action. For some reason there are two commissioners, Tam and Bell, that seem to be the loudest “cheerleaders” for the family (the Orrs) operating this facility, and for the life of me, I cannot understand why. Could it be that the family needs the $480,000 it is paid annually to defend their actions in this law suit? Certainly makes one wonder.

Too many animals have died needlessly over the past three decades that NALAA has been operating this facility.

In fact, I turned over a stray dog that I wanted to adopt if the owner did not claim it during the “hold period,” made contact every single day until the time when the “hold period” had ended, even offered to pay to treat the dog for heartworms or any illness. They killed the dog anyway.

During the time this facility has been operated by NALAA, how many other deaths could have been prevented? Here are just three examples. I would bet if we could poll the citizens of Forsyth County, we would learn of more.

When Mr. Greenway has his day in court, and the story of how he lost his family members Misty and Dakota is told to a jury, I’m sure we will hear all kinds of excuses. Will one of those excuses be the shelter is too small? There wasn’t enough room? Or will the defense say “it’s just not the role of government?”  Either way, the defendants better hope I’m not sitting on that jury.

Leslie Greenfield