McDuffie Animal Services Director Suspended
More turmoil at the McDuffie County Animal Services Shelter.
The facility’s newest director, Micayla McClain, was placed on administrative leave this week after just four months on the job.
Officials said the leave was due to recent events in her personal life and are unrelated to the care and operation of the shelter.
Meanwhile, the McDuffie County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed McClain and her husband, Richard McClain, have been charged with one felony count each of Cruelty to Children for Deprivation of Sustenance. An incident report says the Division of Family & Children Services submitted a report indicating a 2-year-old child had been exposed to Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The child was taken to an area hospital after becoming lethargic and groggy. That’s when officials learned the child was either exposed to or ingested an unknown amount of THC.
A statement on the McDuffie County Animal Services Facebook page says, “Recently disclosed information pertaining to one of the staff members in our Animal Services department will require us to temporarily close our Animal Shelter for intakes.”
How You Can Still Adopt a Pet
Adoptions will still continue by appointment only, and the shelter encourages you to visit their Facebook page and website for a look at dogs and cats that are available for adoption. Contact the department at email@example.com with any questions.
Previous Shelter Problems
Prior to McClain’s employment in July, McDuffie County officials hired Wendy Ivey to serve as the Animal Services Director. She stayed on the job just four months before resigning to spend more time with her family. Ivey came on board while the shelter had shut down in 2022 for renovations. During that time, allegations of animal abuse and improper euthanasia during the previous administration surfaced.
Investigations by the GBI, Georgia Department of Agriculture and Thomson officials began. The GBI said the investigations revealed no evidence of mistreatment of animals. A fine, however, was issued for improper electronic records-keeping.
The shelter had just recently re-opened and started accepting animals in early October, with adoptions following a week later. Now, the shelter is unable to accept animals again for the time being. Adoptions will be handled by appointment-only.