Bibb investigators looking into threats made after dog euthanizations

Bibb County Chief Deputy David Davis said Tuesday evening that sheriff’s investigators are looking into possible threats made against a county employee amid controversy related to the animal shelter.

Interim Animal Welfare Director Deborah Biggs confirmed earlier this week that death threats were made toward her, but she declined to comment about them.

Davis said the threats, which were relayed by text messages and e-mails to Bibb County CAO Steve Layson and other employees in the commission’s office, were sent earlier in the week. But Davis couldn’t confirm when or how many were sent.

“They were sent to Steve and to other people in the office,” Davis said. “I’ll just say there were e-mails that caused us some concern. We’re gathering all of the (messages) and looking into them. I’ve not seen them yet, but I do know there were a number of them.”

Davis wouldn’t confirm that it was Biggs who was threatened, nor would he elaborate on the nature of the threats. An attempt to reach Layson on Tuesday was unsuccessful.

Biggs has drawn criticism from local animal activists since taking over as interim Animal Welfare director July 1, when the county took over the animal shelter from Macon.

Word of the the threats came in the wake of a Monday news conference in which Commissioner Joe Allen called for an investigation after 15 dogs were euthanized in the shelter last week.

The euthanizations occurred despite the fact that the number of dogs at the shelter was below the state-mandated limit of 80 at the time.

Biggs said that the 80-dog limit doesn’t mean the shelter should have that many dogs. She said she would like no more than 60 at any given time.

Allen said Tuesday evening that he hadn’t heard of any threats made toward Biggs or any other county official.

“If it has occurred, law enforcement needs to take this seriously and prosecute (the perpetrator) to the fullest extent of the law,” he said.

Allen said he was disappointed about the euthanizations and has called for an independent investigation into the shelter.

“I disagree with what (Biggs) did, but not to the point of someone making a death threat,” Allen said. “If a death threat was made, it needs to be prosecuted.”

Information from Telegraph archives and writer Mike Stucka contributed to this report. To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.