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Animal shelter as a slaughterhouse with no food for the dogs is absolutely false

The Internet may stand as the most powerful source of information ever. With a simple click of a button, in mere nanoseconds, people in Germany can know as much about the ongoings in Sylvania as the people living in our Southern community.
But with undeniable power comes with it undeniable opportunities for the evolution of misinformation.
Just such a case of misinformation has been spewed forth about Sylvania, Screven County and our residents via the Internet and as one elected official said, “We may just have to ride out the storm.”
Some people find credibility in everything they read on the Internet. It is the “post it and I’ll believe it syndrome.”
Just because it is printed on a Web site does not stamp the material as approved. Sometimes the text is peppered with falsehoods, misconceptions and downright garbage. In short, some well-positioned writings of alleged “facts” on the Internet become nothing more than gossip on steroids.
Over the weekend, citing a source close to the situation, a Web writer based 1,000 miles away in Canada typed a very damaging article that the Screven County Animal Shelter was slaughtering dogs and had only one 50-pound bag of food for 90 canines.
If either of those accusations had any validity, our community and the communities around the world have reason to be outraged. Pet lovers and animal rights advocates are very passionate about the well being of dogs and cats as the canines and felines cannot speak for themselves.
However, the problem with the article is its main focus is not true. While, yes, some dogs and cats are euthanized because of health reasons and the length of time they been housed at the county’s shelter, “slaughter” is an extreme word to use.
As for the one 50-pound bag of dog food for 90 canines, it has absolutely no merit. The dogs have food and are housed in a facility that is an air-conditioned 73 degrees inside while our early dog-day summer conditions outside of the mid-90s are like a sauna for their other four-legged friends. In Screven County with its high level of poverty, a majority of the residences will never have cool temperatures of 73 degrees from May to August.
If you don’t believe the Sylvania Telephone’s account of fact versus fiction, please visit the new animal shelter that opened at 905 Rocky Ford Road in February and judge for yourself. The adoption hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2 to 4 p.m. and Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The shelter’s telephone number is 912-863-8947.
Although most of you reading this editorial can drive 30 minutes or less to see the shelter, those reached by the capabilities of the Internet may have to book a flight on an airline or, at a minimum, take a week off from work drive the distance.
Local officials, however, have found out first-hand from e-mails and telephone calls that disillusioned venomous words spring eternal.
On that Canadian writer’s Web site, she mentions by name Sylvania Mayor Margaret Evans. The mayor’s telephone number and e-mail address are listed right in the middle of the writing just inches under the faux accusations. People from around the nation and as far away as Germany have bombarded her e-mail account and home telephone at all hours of the day and night. Of the hundreds Evans received, some of the comments were only terse, while others were even more strongly worded and filled with a roll call of expletives.
These messages from the world are based on non-facts and, for that matter, are not even directed at the correct elected official who oversees the shelter. Screven County manager Rick Jordan and the county commissioners, who also received their share of out-of-town complaints, govern the operations at the animal shelter.
Evans is a member of the local animal rescue group Friends of Screven County Animals and herself saved several dogs from impending death. The complainers who angrily contacted the mayor to shoot their mouths off were doing so toward the wrong person.
The ticked off callers also were misguided when they contacted Sylvania city council members.
While it is easy to get peeved at those who had adamantly voiced their displeasure from lands far and wide, the reality is this all began with an inaccurate posting on the Internet at www.examiner.com.
Sylvania city attorney Hugh Hunter has written a cease letter to Examiner.com as the letter denotes the complete inaccuracies in its Web site posting that initiated the firestorm.
As a newspaper, we, the Sylvania Telephone, are held up to certain standards and one of those is there are always two sides to every story.
That definitely is the correct in this situation. There is the truth, which we call reality, and the untruth, which we call accusations of no food and slaughter.
We urge you to go visit the animal shelter and find yourself a companion for life. The wagging of the tails will be your sign that they are happy to see you.
And that really is the truth.