The trial for the woman at the center of an animal shelter scandal in Rabun County gets underway today.
Lowanda “Peanut” Kilby is the former manager of what was once the Boggs Mountain Animal Shelter in Clayton.
Kilby is accused of allegedly soliticing donations for the support of shelter dogs and cats with the promise that those animals would never be euthanized, but she euthanized them anyway.
Scottie Elrod of Toccoa is listed in the indictment whose dogs were victims of the Lucky Dog scandal. He is scheduled to testify during the trial.
His wife, Tracey said they gave their two dogs to the Boggs Mountain shelter because they were assured by Kilby that once in the Lucky Dog program, the dogs would never be euthanized and would be placed in loving homes. But the dogs were put down, she said, by Kilby.
"We loved our dogs but living in town in Toccoa we could not keep them," said Tracey Elrod, whose husband Scottie is expected to testify during the trial. "We spent hundreds of dollars fixing our back yard and chain link fence but they kept escaping. We thought this was the best solution. Being a lucky dog was supposed to mean you got a home not a death sentence."
Kilby then allegedly wrote to donors who gave money to sponsor the dogs and cats in the Lucky Dog program, telling them the animals had been adopted when in fact, they had been put to sleep. The money for the program, then allegedly disappeared.
In a 60-count indictment last year by a Rabun County grand jury, Kilby was accused of 29 separate acts of computer theft and theft by taking as well as one count of theft by taking and a violation of the Georgia Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act.
The indictment alleges that in 2012, Kilby used computers to fraudulently take donations intended for the shelter's Lucky Dog/Lucky Kitty program through PayPal.
That money, the indictment alleges was then diverted into her personal bank account. Sixteen dogs and 12 cats were referred to by name in the indictment. After a lengthy investigation by the shelter board, Kilby was fired and many of the board members resigned.
The shelter was closed and later re-opened under the name, Paws 4 Life with new management. Kilby's trial is expected to last about two weeks.