Former Director of GA Shelter Found Guilty by Jury

Lowanda “Peanut” Kilby, the former director of the now defunct Boggs Mountain Humane Shelter in Rabun Co, GA has been found guilty on 60 felony counts by a jury.  Prosecutors say Kilby used the no kill brand to bilk donors into giving money to her “Lucky Dog” program which she then funneled into her personal Paypal account – to the tune of $10 grand.

Screengrab of Kilby's scam programs at the Boggs Mountain shelter [via Metro]

Screengrab of Kilby’s scam programs at the Boggs Mountain shelter [via Metro]

Regular readers will recall that Kilby ran a pay-to-play scam where she would guarantee dogs at the fake no kill shelter would be allowed to live if they received a sponsorship of $100.  Kilby would pocket the cash, kill the “Lucky Dog”, then send the sponsor a yay-your-sponsored-dog-got-adopted letter.  Kilby was fired in July 2012 after a tenacious Atlanta news reporter received a tip and exposed the scam on the evening news.

After being charged in September 2013 with 60 felony counts including theft and racketeering, Kilby spent 2 hours in jail then went on a cruise.  Her trial this month lasted less than 2 weeks and it took the jury less than 4 hours to return the guilty verdict on all 60 counts.  Kilby has yet to be sentenced but presumably won’t be going on another cruise anytime soon.

Since the killing of healthy shelter pets is tragically legal, Kilby was not charged with animal cruelty.  Instead she has been relegated to the Michael Vick Hall of Shame for those who needlessly and cruelly kill pets and never pay for their crimes.  Like Vick, Kilby will at least pay for her racketeering crimes.  There ought to be a law.

Note:  Since the verdict is a recent development in the story, updates are likely to be posted throughout the day at various news outlets.  Please share links to any updates you come across in the comments.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

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15 Comments

  1. Charges, convictions and sentences reflect the priorities and values of the society in which they arise. As usual, this tells us that stealing money is punishable by years in a cell but stealing truly innocent lives is acceptable. I doubt that those whose dogs were murdered by this craven lunatic would agree and would gratefully forfeit the former for the latter. This is not justice; this is merely a kind of reparations. Immensely discouraging, incredibly pathetic.

    Reply
    • Alice

       /  May 23, 2014

      Under GA law, they would have to prove cruelty in order to get a convection. The defence could have argued that Euthanasia doesn’t make the animal suffer and that she wasn’t the one to physically do it. It wouldn’t have been impossible to get a guilty verdict, but it wouldn’t have been a “slam dunk” either. They went with the theft angle because there was no way to wiggle out of it. Not because that was the only thing important.

      Reply
      • The problem is hardly unique to Georgia; laws protecting animals are pathetically weak everywhere. Nevertheless, there was no either/or; they could have charged animal cruelty as well and forced her to defend. If the prosecution failed to prove and she was acquitted of those charges, so be it, but the statement would still have been made that it MATTERS.

      • Alice

         /  May 23, 2014

        So long as H$U$ and PETA have lobbyists everywhere, laws that decree giving healthy animals fatal plus is cruelty will *never* be written. Even without them, the government would more than likely not pass such laws as they just might have to overhaul their “shelters”.

        As it is, those animals were property of Boggs Mountain. The fact people donated money to get them into a “program” does not change that fact. There is no law saying you can’t “get rid of” your property if you do not want it. Adding that into the trial would have changed the tone, and give the defense more wiggle room to argue their way out of the whole thing. I hate it, but I can see the legal reason why they chose to only go after the theft angle.

        I don’t say any of this because I like it. I pray to God that they hit her with the max on each charge and she dies in prison. But as the law stands now, what came out of all of this is very best anyone can realistically expect. It wouldn’t have happened if there hadn’t been so much public pressure for so long.

  2. Agree with the poster above (Cathy Karr) – but at least this scumbag got convicted for something – which might deter future scumbags (hey; we can hope, can’t we?)

    Love the acknowledgement “relegated to the Michael Vick Hall of Shame”
    .

    Reply
  3. Hurray for investigative reporting to seek out and find the facts and at least bring her to something that resembles justice.

    Yes, the Michael Vick Hall of Shame has a definite ring to it.

    Reply
  4. Alice

     /  May 23, 2014

    According to Randy Travis’ trial coverage, she spent over $200,000 at Harrah’s Cherokee within a couple of years, $90,000 of it in the three months before Travis broke the news. Her salary was $41,000 a year. I somehow think she got much, much more than $10,000 with her little “operation”.

    Reply
  5. Reblogged this on Sherlockian's Blog and commented:
    Finally, justice catches up with an animal abuser. Hope, this trend will follow.

    Reply
  6. Kittypurr

     /  May 26, 2014

    I agree with Alice. There was more than $10k she raked in. So unless she had mortgages out the wazoo on any property she owned- or maybe the BOD had given her loans (legal) and they didn’t want the “shelter” to be exposed to a law suit- its also possible that the BOD declared “trademark secrets” on their donor lists- or and I know this to be a fact- non- profits are used all the time to launder money from illicit gains by powerful people in the community.
    Bottom line glad she was found guilty and hurray to Travis that scratched the surface on this operation.

    Reply
  7. Alice

     /  May 28, 2014

    This was posted on Facebook by Randy Travis:

    “Lowanda “Peanut” Kilby will be sentenced Friday at 9 AM in Rabun County. A jury found her guilty last week on all 60 counts of theft and racketeering in connection with the secret deaths of animals in her so-called Lucky Dog program. She’s been held in jail since the verdict awaiting sentencing.”

    Reply
    • Thanks Alice. Interesting that she’s been held in jail. I am so used to animal abusers being let out as they await sentencing. One benefit to the racketeering charges – the court takes them seriously.

      Reply
    • Alice

       /  May 29, 2014

      The public pressure is the bigger reason. The demand for LE to do something in this case has *never* let up since Travis’ first airing of this case. So the GBI and the courts haven’t had much choice in taking the whole situation seriously.

      Reply
  8. Sentencing is happening right now. Reporter Randy Travis is live tweeting from the courtroom: https://twitter.com/RandyTravisFox5

    Reply
    • Tweets from Randy Travis, in courtroom:

      Peanut Kilby jailhouse call: Get another judge to help. “He owes us a favor because we got him elected.” #LuckyDogs

      Through sobs Peanut Kilby asks to be able to stay out of prison so,she can welcome her son home when he gets out of military. #LuckyDogs

      Defense attorney: sentence of probation is appropriate in this case. #LuckyDogs

      State recommends Peanut Kilby be sentenced to 40 years to serve 30, plus $25k fine. #LuckyDogs

      Judge Smith: “I did not hear (peanut Kilby) say she was sorry for what she has done.” #LuckyDogs

      Peanut Kilby sentenced to 25 years in prison with 15 years to serve. $30K fine. #LuckyDogs

      Reply
  9. Clarice

     /  May 30, 2014

    I’m glad she will be serving 15 years in prison. Even though she wasn’t convicted of animal cruelty, there is some justice for the dogs. People won’t remember that she was convicted of theft and racketeering, but they will remember she killed dogs.

    Reply

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