Fighting Dog "Beast" Disappears
Atlanta, GA - The Fulton County Animal Services scandal widens. Randy Travis reports that the Fulton County District Attorney's office confirms it's investigating what happened to a prized pit bull -- seized in a dogfighting raid last year -- after it was sent to the county animal shelter for evidence holding. The director, Jere Alexander, swears via affidavit that the dog was euthanized in June. An amateur video and shelter employee dispute this claim.
From left: Jere Alexander, Rocky Alexander, Ossia Phillips and Tony Self.
14 pit bulls were seized as evidence last December by the Atlanta police in a suspected dogfighting operation. The dogs were moved to the Fulton County animal shelter. One of the dogs, a 4-year old male pit bull, was immediately dubbed "Beast" by shelter workers. The dog was so aggressive it could not be photographed for its kennel card. The same dog was later identified as "Spike," a prized stud dog that belonged to Ossia Phillips, who was arrested after the dogfighting raid.
Sherri Self, a former shelter employee, disputes the claim that Beast was euthanized. Her husband, Tony Self, recently pleaded guilty to transporting fighting dogs -- Sherri was not charged in the incident. Shortly before his plea, Sherri was fired by David York, the founder of Barking Hound Village Foundation (BHVF). Both Sherri and Jere Alexander served as President and Vice President accordingly on the Georgia American Pit Bull Terrier Association (GAPBT).
Reporter Randy Travis asked Alexander if she had ever taken Beast off the shelter's premises. She said she took the dog for "car rides" and "walks." Her husband, Rocky Alexander, who calls himself a dog behaviorist, also took Beast off the premises. When asked, "Where's Beast now?" Alexander said the dog was in doggie heaven. BHVF provided affidavits by Alexander and employee Antonio Bryant to support the fact that Beast was euthanized June 11th.
The amateur video, however, that the Fulton County District Attorney is currently examining, shows Beast chained on the Alexander property in August. Sherri Self says she saw the animal on the Alexander property in a visit in late July or early August as well. Criminal charges may be pending in multiple areas including: the theft of "seized" property for a criminal trial and the altering of county animal shelter euthanization records.
The questions that continue to go unanswered:
- What happened to Beast?
- What happened to the undocumented 83 feral cats?
- Why did David York "really" fire Sherri Self?
- Was BHVF laundering pit bulls for dogfighters?
- Why does each aspect of the investigation continue to lead back to BHVF management?
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10/31/08: Coverage of the Fulton County Animal Shelter - DogsBite.org