Meriwether County puppy crisis

By Laura Ann Sills - bioemail

GREENVILLE, GA (WXTX) - Dogs are called man's best friend, but those at the animal shelter in Meriwether County were not being treated that way.

The disease nicknamed "the puppy killer" had infested the shelter before the Meriwether County Sheriff's Office and the Department of Agriculture took over.

As part of the ongoing investigation into Parvo at the animal shelter, 20 puppies have had to be put down.  More are being tested for the virus.

The kennels are now cleaned four times a day at the Meriwether County Animal Shelter.

Officials with the Sheriff's Office tell News Leader Nine the animals were living in filth.

The Department of Agriculture, along with the Meriwether County Sheriff's Office, began to investigate the condition of the local shelter.

The man who was supposed to be caring for man's best friend was arrested and charged with animal cruelty. 59-year-old Herb Bartlett has bonded out of jail, but will not be coming back to the animal shelter.

For now, the Sheriff's Office has been asked to take it over and volunteers are helping to care for the animals that are left. All of the animals are being treated by a local vet.

In two weeks, the Department of Agriculture will come back to the shelter and determine if it can be taken off the quarantine list and reopen for business.  News Leader Nine will follow this developing story and let you know when the animals go up for adoption.

To keep the animals' tails wagging, the shelter is in need of food, beds, and cleaning supplies. If you would like to donate, call 706-672-2966 or visit the shelter at 263 Mclaughlin Road Greenville, GA.

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