Georgia Mayor ignorantly declares “Pit bulls are very aggressive” in local paper.

That’s right folks, in all her wisdom, the esteemed Mayor of Columbus, Georgia has managed to piss off a large majority of her constituents releasing this blanket statement in a recent article in the Ledger-Enquirer.

In a city with an Animal Control facility full of pit bulls, it’s no surprise that the Mayor has refused every attempt to save ALL the city’s homeless pets. No Kill Columbus, Ga first approached Mayor Tomlinson in May 2011, with an Action Plan including the full implementation of the No Kill Equation, which has successfully resulted in a 90% or higher save rate in well over 30 open admission municipal facilities across the country. Because of this, the Columbus nonprofit organization and it’s supporters are branded as “radicals”, and after public outcry for the safe release of Elijah to the rescue that saved him, it has now been taken to a whole other level.

The story, if that’s what it can be called, made the front page of the Ledger-Enquirer and can be found at “Animal rights activists attack city over pit bull Elijah”. What is very interesting, is that shortly after releasing the article online, the Ledger RE-RELEASED it with the new headline, “‘Radical’ animal activists using smear campaign against city, Mayor Teresa Tomlinson says”, and then again, with “Mayor Teresa Tomlinson says pit bull Elijah in good health despite activists claims of abuse at city’s center”, this time with a new photo of Elijah, without his ribcage showing and looking much less emaciated.

The Ledger has really done it this time, with their completely one-sided excuse for investigative journalism. One citizen posted on facebook, “Just cancelled my 7-day per week subscription to LE. Been a loyal customer for 9 years but no longer will subscribe to a newspaper that only allows one side of a story to be told”, and another shared, “Just put my last copy of the Ledger-Enquirer on the floor for the dog to crap on”! The Mayor’s statement has inspired the creation of a new facebook page, Pit Bulls against Mayor Teresa Tomlinson (follow the link to like and share!) where pit bull owners are encouraged to post photos of their “very aggressive” pitties and pittie mixes with kids and especially other animals! Its a positive page to show the Mayor that she’s wrong, DEAD WRONG, about this loyal, loving race of dog. It’s embarassing that her PR handler doesn’t do something to shut her up.

In a letter to Rodney Mahone, the president of the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, a friend wrote “I find it very interesting that the very day your newspaper and specifically Mike Owen gets called out in an editorial questioning why your newspaper has denied repeated requests to do a news story on the ever growing citizen based No Kill movement in Columbus, you choose instead to do a rushed hack job of an article attacking local citizens.” “You did nothing but repeat the lies perpetuated by the Mayor once again in her effort to silence her opposition.” and “Your news paper has proven itself to be nothing more then a propaganda machine and a liberal mouth piece for the Mayor.”

The article is filled with the Mayor’s blatant lies and exaggerations, as if she wrote it herself. The so-called “journalist” made absolutely no attempt to research any of the misinformation that the Mayor provided, including this gem, “When the woman went to feed the three dogs, the pit bull attacked and nearly killed the beagle and bit the woman when she tried to intervene, Tomlinson said.”. Nearly killed the beagle? Really Mayor Tomlinson? The adopter herself stated that her “beagle”, who is actually a mix weighing twice as much as Elijah, was not even harmed. She wrote “I’m proud to report (name of other dog) checked out fine at the Vet. He has one small scratch on his right ear and other then that… he is perfect.” What a joke. The Mayor is a joke! It would be bad journalism NOT to say it!

But in all seriousness, how many pit bulls will be killed, as a direct result of her comment?

I think it was said best by Georgia Attorney, Alison Buzzotta, who explained, “The situation became escalated due to a lack of transparency at the shelter. Animal Ark simply wanted to ensure that Elijah was being treated medically if necessary and that he would not be killed. AA was denied visitation and any information. In fact the city gave misinformation stating publicly he had already been transferred to another facility which was not the case. The reason for the concern is this is a high kill shelter (under the guise of being something else), that kills for convenience and arbitrarily, provides no medical care whatsoever in a majority if not all other cases, and that does not volunteer any information, even in regard to how many  pets they intake a month, without a legal open record request. This is an editorial and not an article as it has no substantiation of all the crucial facts.”

The Ledger article goes on to say, “Tomlinson said at first she hadn’t paid too much attention to the phone calls and letters exclaiming the abuse going on at the shelter, until she received unsolicited letters from national organizations such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the Georgia Humane Society, which warned her that the city was under attack by radical elements of the animal rights movement. Lisa Martin of the Georgia Humane Society wrote Tomlinson to tell her that, in her research of animal rights activists, she’d become aware of the campaign against Columbus and warned the mayor of their tactics: “Their method of operation, nationwide, appears to be to create negative media publicity and stir up public outrage against the local animal control facility – and then begin ‘demanding’ the firing of the current director and/or staff and then… it appears they are somehow able to get no-kill affiliated persons hired into key shelter positions.”

Kat Poteat, who was also mentioned in the article, contacted the Georgia Humane Society, whose mission states specifically, to “Eliminate the killing of healthy animals in Georgia by implementing and promoting the no-kill equation throughout the state.” because, well, that just didn’t make any sense. In her response, the Founder of the Georgia Humane Society said, “I want to assure you that the statements made by Lisa Martin (a volunteer) do not reflect the views of the organization as a whole. I’m currently trying to get to the bottom of when and why she would make such a statement using our organization as her platform.”

I’ve already shared my opinion on the relationship between Tomlinson and PETA, but the Ledger article goes on to say, “Tomlinson also received a letter from PETA headquarters in Washington, D.C., warning her of the tactics she could expect. “On a daily basis, our office receives reports of shelters pressured to lower their euthanasia numbers by individuals and groups unfamiliar with the inner workings of animal care and control facilities (or the daily challenges and heartaches that shelter workers face), or, in some cases, efforts by volunteers or staff members to implement troublesome policies that are not in the animals’ best interests.””

Naturally, our Mayor believes that implementing “troublesome” programs like a Comprehensive Adoption Program, High-Volume/Low-Cost Spay Neuter, Foster Care Network, Working with Rescues, Pet Retention Programs to prevent Owner Surrenders, Proactive Owner Redemption to increase lost pet reclaims, Utilizing Volunteers, Public Relations/Community Involvement, providing Medical and Behavior Programs, and actually hiring a Compassionate Director (which are precisely the programs and services in the No Kill Equation) is “not in the animals’ best interests“.

She has lost her damn marbles.

8 Responses to “Georgia Mayor ignorantly declares “Pit bulls are very aggressive” in local paper.

  • Your article contains more facts in half the space than the LE in both articles. My understanding is the lady who was bit…not “attacked”…actually had 3 dogs besides Elijah but told AA she only had one, I seriously doubt she would have gotten him if she’d been truthful.And stepping between the two while fighting was just plain stupid. I’m sure if someone stepped between two people in a gunfight, chances are that person would get shot!

  • You would have to have them to lose them!!! Nice blog Stef! I think we can say that her cheese has “officially” slid off her cracker!

  • Very nice blog! This whole mess has certainly been blown out of proportion and made into a much larger issue than it ever should have been. The question is now, what’s the next logical step? It’s obvious that simply hounding the mayor or even animal control for information is like going outside and pounding our heads against the pavement. It’s sad that there’s not ONE person in the news media willing to reach out and do a truly investigative piece on things.

  • RE: Elijah – Mayor Teresa Tomlinson is 100% biased and should have the integrity, ethics and good judgement to remove herself from decisions relative to Elijah, as she is clearly NOT able to separate her personal feelings from her professional responsibilities.

    It is blatantly obvious that the Mayor harbours a huge grudge against Animal Ark Rescue for disagreeing with her opposition to a “no kill” policy for shelter animals. The FACT that this exceptionally immature mayor has made it her personal business to see Elijah murdered, proves that she is a vindictive and hateful person, who lets her petty emotions rule her decision making.

    No authentic rational exists to refuse Elijah a permanent home with Animal Ark Rescue, as opposed to murdering him! The mayor’s flat refusal proves how shockingly juvenile she is in her judgement!

    She wants to kill Elijah to spite Animal Ark Rescue for having a different philosophy about no-kill. Given that the mayor possesses the maturity of a 10-year old and with the huge outcry by the public about her refusal to free Elijah, if she does not heed the people’s wishes, I am quite certain that her constituency will boot her clear out of office at re-election! She can then take her ball and go home and pout.

    What a terrible shame that the first ever female Mayor of Columbus had to be Teresa Tomlinson! She is such a huge disappointment as a representative of the female gender.

  • The “no-kill equation” is a rationale approach to the humane treatment of companion animals promoted by someone very experienced in animal care. He can talk the talk because he has walked the walk. I have read his books and heard him speak. It would be beneficial for others to likewise inform themselves via YouTube (Nathan Winograd) or better yet reading his books. Then you can decide. . . it’s time to put aside egos and agendas and be a voice for those animals who have none.

  • If you honestly think that EVERY pitbull is “aggressive” you seriously need to get out some. Animals are bad unless the owner treats or trains them badly. They are loving animals just like any other pet. Just because some people murder others don’t mean that we’re all aggressive people. You are probably one of the stupid women alive.

  • The mayor is ignorant about dogs. If a small dog bites someone it never makes news, or a Golden Retriever..what makes news is anytime a Pit Bull is involved in an incident. Why? She should educate herself about Pit Bull temperament.They rank high in intelligence and temperament.I trained dog guides for over 20 years and have seen the sweetest little Golden Retrievers turn into attack machines when an incident would happen. Dogs fight, stuff happens, but to blame a breed only shows a lack of understanding about the dogs. Off course if she is a PETA supporter she would feel this way since they are an organization hell bent on killing animals, especially Pit Bulls. I wish people would educated themselves before opening their mouths and saying stupid things.

  • For the past 15 + yrs I am involved in trapping, Spay/neuter & releasing feral cats & have also rescued/fostered many dogs. The only dog I’ve EVER been bitten by was an Old English Sheepdog. Why?? Because duuuh-the dogs were eating & one wanted the other’s food-hunger? probably not, territorial or a show of dominance. Either way I tried to break it up & was bitten. WAIT!! I forgot to mention these dogs weren’t strays or foster animals, they were my own forever dogs that had lived together & w/myself for years. I got what was coming to me
    I live in SW Rural GA-above JAX, FL. We had over 2300 pets come through our shelter last year & only 200 of those were adopted out.The rest euthanized. Our only hope is that educated people(mainly up north) have had such outstanding success with spay programs they now have a shortage of adoptable pets!! Several times a year the doggie caravan comes through & takes a few back with them. PLEASE-If any Earth Angels want to try a no-kill approach by all means support it. It may be cheaper to kill but that doesn’t make it right. If it will help Elijah I’ll gladly adopt him as I only have a small 3 legged poodle that belonged to my deceased Mother. I’m sure he will get along great with the feral colonies of cats I feed-ALL FIXED!!!

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