Skip to main content

Is there a way to prosecute our County Animal Welfare Department for animal cruelty and neglect?

Macon, GA |

I am part of a large group (See FB page Stop the Killings at the Macon-Bibb County Animal Shelter) that has documented proof of animal abuse and neglect at our local shelter, which is run by our County Commissioners. Several deaths have resulted lately due to Animal Control not picking up animals that were gravely injured and left in the road to die. Our Shelter Manager has just re-hired a man who was fired two years ago for animal cruelty. We have tried speaking with our County Commissioners and the shelter director, and get no response. Articles and letters have been in the Macon telegraph and on local news affiliates, but no action is ever taken. We (and the animals) need help desperately. Any advice as to what direction we should head in will be greatly appreciated.

+ Read More

Attorney answers 5


Report criminal conduct to the police. Civil laws are impotent in this regard in my view.


If the dept isnt doing its job as reqd, you may be able to go to court to get an order it do so. These are sometimes called writs of mandamus.


Criminal cases would have to be initiated by the police, who work for those commissioners, or the sheriff (who does not), or the DA, who does not. Therefore, meet with the county sheriff and the DA.

If you find this answer helpful, please mark it here on AVVO as helpful. In answering you, I am attempting to communicate general legal information and am not representing you (and am not your lawyer). Do feel free to call me at 404-768-3509 if you wish to discuss actual representation (the phone call also does not retain counsel; that requires an office visit and appropriate paperwork). In that a forum such as this provides me with limited details and doesn't allow me to review details and documents, it is possible that answers here, while meant to be helpful, may in some cases not be complete or accurate, and I highly recommend that you retain legal counsel rather than rely on the answers here. (You can also email my office at . An email also does not retain my office, but can help you get an appointment set if you prefer not to call). I am happy to discuss possible representation with you. Any information in this communication is for discussion purposes only, and is not offered as legal advice. There is no right to rely on the information contained in this communication and no attorney-client relationship is formed. Nothing in my answer should be considered as tax-advice. To ensure compliance with IRS Circular 230, any U.S. federal tax advice provided in this communication is not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used by the recipient or any other taxpayer (i) for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed on the recipient or any other taxpayer, or (ii) in promoting, marketing or recommending to another party a partnership or other entity, investment plan, arrangement or other transaction addressed herein. I am also required to advise you, if your question concerns bankruptcy, that the U.S. Congress has designated Ashman Law Office as a debt relief agency that can help people file bankruptcy.


You could also try contacting the Animal Legal Defense Fund to see if they could give you any guidance.

This is not to be construed as legal advice. I do not have an attorney client relationship with you.


It is extremely difficult to sue the government or any public entity and win. That being said, there are organizations like ALDF, as one colleague mentioned, that handle these kinds of high-level lawsuits. Meanwhile, I would continue to keep the pressure on with media and social-media exposure. Best of luck!

This post should not be construed as formal legal advice or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.<br /> <a href="" target="_blank">Joan M. Bundy, Attorney at Law, Chandler, Arizona</a>&nbsp;|&nbsp;