We have a new development in the case against a local dog breeder in East Dublin. According to the Georgia Department of Agriculture, Tonya Lewis with Tonya's Tiny Companions is no longer under investigation. Yvonne Thomas has been keeping up with this case and spoke with a state inspector Friday morning.
East Dublin Breeder Tonya Lewis was dogged with animal abuse allegations since we met her in 2016. Last August, she was charged with 20 counts of animal cruelty by a Laurens County judge. Now we have the inspection reports from the Georgia Department of Agriculture that shed a new light on her previous violations. But state inspectors also say Lewis has cleaned up her act and the investigation against her is over.
On September 22, 2016, someone filed a complaint against Tonya's Tiny Companions. A few days later, the Georgia Department of Agriculture came to inspect her property. “I was actually there onsite during one of those inspections. There were some corrections that needed to be made,” said Mark Murrah with the Georgia Department of Agriculture.
An inspection report from September 29th, 2016 shows Lewis received three violations during that inspection for having rodents in a breeding room, housing too many dogs together in cages, and also having rusted or damaged cages.
Mark Murrah, the Manager of the Companion Animal Section, says Lewis made the mandatory changes to her property by November 1st and passed remaining inspections, but a few months later in May 2017, two inspection reports shows that two of Lewis' puppies died of the Parvo virus. “It's a common virus. It's routinely found in small puppies, especially those that are not vaccinated,” said Murrah.
But Murrah says all of Lewis' dogs were vaccinated and could still contract the virus. He says Parvo is not a disease caused by poor sanitation or lack of cleanliness. “The virus was contained and did not affect other animals,” said Murrah. Because Lewis passed all recent inspection on June 30, 2017, she is no longer under investigation by the state. “Our inspectors are currently going by this facility every couple of months or quarterly at this time,” said Murrah.
Yvonne Thomas spoke to Tonya Lewis Friday morning about the end of this investigation.
Lewis wants to tell people, "If you have any questions about my dogs, don't go to social media. Come talk to me."
Even though Lewis is no longer under investigation with the Georgia Department of Agriculture, the 20 counts of animal cruelty she received last August is still pending in court.