University of Georgia Student Denies Killing Puppies


Warning: This article might disturb some readers.

A University of Georgia student has been charged with seven felony counts of animal cruelty for allegedly beating a litter of puppies to death. Athens police said Ashley Council, 20, violently killed the weeks-old puppies and left them in a box behind a convenience store last month.

Police traced a shipping label on the box, which originally held a comforter from JCPenney, to Council. Animal control officers also found a long metal pipe on top of the box that held the seven puppies’ bodies. Council was arrested early Thursday morning and taken to Athens Clarke County jail. She was released on $7,000 bond, $1,000 per count.

Council said she had been advised by her parents not to talk about the charges. “All I can say is I did not do what they are accusing me of,” she said.

Council had been employed as a clerical worker at UGA’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital since last August. She was suspended from her job Monday, pending the outcome of the investigation, UGA officials said.

Athens-Clarke County Police Detective Rebecca Taft said the puppies were covered with bruises and some had open wounds. “They suffered,” Taft said. “They were all huddled together in a little bunch.”

Taft said the black, tan and white puppies were a small breed mix and she estimated their age between seven and eight-weeks-old. “It was too early to tell what kind of dogs they were going to be,” she said.

Doctors at the vet teaching hospital, where Council works, performed a necropsy on the animals on September 12 to determine the cause of death. Council was a part-time student clerical worker and her job did not involve contact with animals.

Taft said Council adopted a dachshund from Animal Control in June. She called Animal Control the morning she allegedly killed the puppies to ask about surrendering them. She was told she could bring the puppies in, said Patrick Rives, animal control superintendent.

“She was told all she had to do was live in Clarke County and it wasn’t a problem.” The student was not supposed to have dogs in her apartment, Taft said.

On her Facebook Internet profile, Council said she is a 2005 graduate of Stockbridge High School majoring in pre-law and political science. She lists “Animal Planet” among her favorite television shows and belongs to a group called “Animal Rights.”

According to Kim Ellis, director of Student Judicial Programs, all cases made against UGA students by Athens-Clarke Police are reported to her office for evaluation under the student code of conduct. Penalties can range from writing an essay to expulsion, depending on the severity of the finding.

Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Photo: Public Domain

(Thanks Lynne)

9 Responses to “University of Georgia Student Denies Killing Puppies”

  1. Anonymous says:

    HORRIFYING! Those poor little fur babies never had a chance. If she did not do this then WHO DID?

  2. A.C. says:

    And if she didn’t kill these poor babies herself, why isn’t she screaming mad to find out who did?

    God rest their little souls.

  3. Furbabies says:

    Sick, sick, sick. If she did do this, then she needs a complete mental evaluation. If she didn’t, then the shelter staff needs to be questioned. They would be the next logical suspects.

  4. Pit Bull Lover says:

    I have the greatest respect for the University of Georgia’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital, and I applaud them for immediately suspending Ms. Council from her clerical work/study job there - pending the outcome of the investigation, of course.

    I could be wrong, but I don’t think Athens-Clarke County Animal Control would dump the brutalized, dead puppies behind a convenience store. For Athens to be such a small, rural college town - surrounded by even smaller towns, the animal shelter and rescue groups in that area do a fairly decent job of trying to save, adopt out, and humanely “manage” homeless pets and wild animals.


  5. Trudy Jackson says:

    This is just sickining. Horrifying. I can’t believe anyone could be this cruel. Thoses poor little puppies didn’t ask to be born. Either She did it or she knows who did. I rescue Doxies and I also wouldn’t care what breed they were, I just can’t imagine killing them. and in such a cruel way. We need to get more laws on the books about people like this. they are sick and dangerous. This will stay in My mind for a long time. i’d like to get ahold of whoever did do it.

  6. Underdog says:

    A person who could do anything like this has a very sick and twisted mind, and is a danger to society. Lock her up for a good long time where she can’t harm another living being. Think Jeffrey Dahmer, among others! She should be permanently barred from having contact with animals for the rest of her life.

  7. Jenny Bark says:

    Long metal pipe, dead pups & box they where in, if they really want to know who did this they should have no problem. Get the sicko put away fast & all the rest of them too. Thanks to the net American people are starting to see how sick some people are. I waiting for the good people to have had enough. There is no way those babies could defend themselves or get away.

  8. Robert Forman says:

    ” If she did not do this then WHO DID?”

    I don’t know if there are any more details on this. Was there any indication of cruel behavior by her in the past?

    The first logical suspect other than her would be a person who didn’t like he or was mad at her for some reason. Rejected suitor? Jealous rival? Easy enough to get some identifying box or article from most people’s garbage. She could have been “framed”.

  9. Pit Bull Lover says:

    If the metal pipe is determined to be the “weapon” used, fingerprint analysis can quite easily determine if Ms. Council bludgeoned these puppies to death, or if the act was done by someone else.

    To quote Robert Forman (above): “The first logical suspect other than her would be a person who didn’t like he or was mad at her for some reason. Rejected suitor? Jealous rival? [snipped] She could have been ‘framed’.”

    Holy Agatha Christie, Batman! Yeah, I can see how a jealousy- or revenge-motivated framing of a college student for puppy murder could fly. Especially in English 204 - Intro to Creative Writing.

    Council might be innocent — but *someone* is guilty, and personally, I would imagine that person to be brutal, selfish, callous, unemotional, lazy, immoral, etc. — long before I would imagine them to be “vengeful” or “jealous” or a designer of plots to frame others of committing nauseatingly cruel crimes against baby animals.

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