Director of 'Lucky Dog' program had past financial troubles - New York News

Director of 'Lucky Dog' program had past financial troubles

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ATLANTA -

The Rabun County woman at the center of a GBI animal cruelty investigation struggled for years with money problems.

It's just one of many new developments in an I-Team investigation that exposed how Boggs Mountain Humane Shelter killed dogs and cats while deceiving donors who gave cash thinking the animals had really been adopted.

Reputation means a lot to people in the mountain community of Rabun County.  They even debated whether they should mark the 40th anniversary of the filming of the movie "Deliverance" because of the image it portrayed. But for many people this latest controversy is even more disturbing.

"We've all been very supportive and to hear something like this happening is unbelievable. Unbelievable," said Sue Willis, the owner of Grapes and Beans.  

Everyone in the community thought highly of Boggs Mountain Humane Shelter, a supposed no-kill operation that rescued dogs and cats not just from Rabun County, but from shelters and pet owners across the southeast who just couldn't care for their animals any longer.
    
But a whistleblower told FOX 5's I-Team that much of Boggs Mountain's no-kill reputation was a lie, with more than 100 dogs or cats euthanized just since May.  Even worse, some of those dead animals were supposed to be saved through the "Lucky Dog" program. Owners paid at least $100 to guarantee their pets would not be put to sleep. Boggs even sent deceptive emails or cards, that falsely assured donors their "Lucky Dog" had a wonderful home.
    
When we showed Boggs director Peanut Kilby the euthanasia files for all those dead "Lucky Dogs,"  she first pointed out the records indicated that Rabun County Animal Control did the euthanasia. What she clearly didn't want us to know is that she was the director of both. The Boggs Mountain board put Kilby on indefinite paid leave until they could do their own investigation. The GBI dispatched two agents to start a criminal case.

While our story stunned this quiet retirement community, it also spread across the country. Donors wondered what really happened to the animal they brought to Boggs Mountain.

Others created a Facebook page "Lost Dogs of Boggs" in hopes of confirming those "Lucky Dogs" really did find wonderful homes.

Meanwhile, other rescue groups are reviewing their own dealings with Boggs Mountain. Animal rescuer Piper Hill told Rabun County commissioners about an attempt to send four dogs from Henry County Animal Control to Boggs Mountain. Someone had donated $500 to help with the adoption. But when the Henry County folks became suspicious of Peanut Kilby, they asked for the dogs -- and the money -- to be returned.

"I was in the office when they asked for the money back and Peanut was on the phone and she said that the money was gone already. And then the question was, ‘What do you mean the money's gone? We just PayPaled it to you. Where did it go,'" said Hill.

She says Peanut Kilby finally gave back some of the money.

"It was a personal check," said Hill.

The FOX 5 I-Team has discovered evidence that suspended director Kilby struggled with money problems. According to court files, local merchants and the county tax office sued and filed criminal charges against her multiple times for writing bad checks -- debts totaling more than $11,000.

Records show she ultimately made good on what she owed and the charges were dropped.

Finally, there's this: the woman who was hired to run a shelter that boasted its no-kill policy once faced an animal cruelty charge herself. Twelve years ago, Kilby admitted shooting someone's hunting dog that had come onto her property. She was arrested, but a Rabun County grand jury decided not to prosecute.

Now she faces a much larger criminal case in a community that thought it knew what was really going on inside the shelter's walls.

Animal lovers will be demonstrating against the Boggs Mountain Animal Shelter at noon on Saturday in front of the courthouse in Clayton in Rabun County.

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