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No charges in Campbell Co. animal shelter case

11:34 PM, Aug 29, 2013   |    comments
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District Attorney General Lori Phillips-Jones said TBI presented its findings from an investigation into the abuse earlier this month.

(WBIR-Jacksboro) A YouTube video that went viral, and accused shelter workers of abuse, put a spotlight on the Campbell County animal shelter. Now, a Campbell County grand jury has decided not to press charges against anyone working at the Adrion Baird Animal Center.

District Attorney General Lori Phillips-Jones said the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) presented its findings from an investigation into the abuse earlier this month.

The jury ruled there was no criminal wrongdoing.

"You just have to take a bigger interest when something like this happens to make sure you do it right and we think we're gonna be a much better shelter," Campbell Co. Mayor William Baird said.

Adrion Baird Animal Center temporarily closed in April, after a YouTube video claimed that animals were improperly euthanized.

The video makes the case that animals were only given one-third of a dose of the recommended drug to put them to sleep.

The previous shelter director, Betty Crumley, resigned and earlier this month the shelter reopened under a new director.

"It was, in my opinion, a personal vendetta against her. She didn't actually euthanize any of the animals because she was not a certified euthanasia," Mayor Baird said.

But the group Friends of Campbell Co. Animals disagrees.

"I don't think the allegations are untrue. I just think it's difficult to prosecute those charges," said Michelle Davis, president of Friends of Campbell Co. Animals.

Davis is encouraging people to make sure their local animal shelter is following standard procedures.

Mayor Baird said the shelter is almost full and adoptions are low.

Visit http://campbellcountyanimalshelter.blogspot.com for more information on how to adopt a cat or dog.

The grand jury issued in Campbell Co. Criminal Court a list of 10 recommendations for the shelter.

1. The Shelter should be required to have a working scale for proper dosage of medication for euthanasia of animals.

2. Campbell County Government should consider instituting the following policies:a. A guideline amount for the percentage of animals euthanized per population of the shelter, if possible. b. A range of acceptable temperatures for the kennel area of the Shelter. c. A standard euthanasia procedure to be followed.

3. The Grand Jury recommends better record keeping procedures for the intake and euthanasia logs.

4. Euthanasia Technicians should be fully educated on the drug(s) used to administer euthanasia and should follow the best dosage in relation to the actual weight of the animal.

5. The County should review the records kept by the Shelter on a regular basis. The Grand Jury recommends once yearly, if not more often, and the Shelter should be subject to several unannounced visits by auditors and inspectors.

6. Training for Shelter employees should be done yearly to update them on any recent changes in the law or guidelines for shelters.

7. The Shelter should get advice from other shelters about their procedures for operation, cooperating with rescue groups, and raising funds.

8. The MSDS sheets should be kept at the facility for any person to have access.

9. A website should be set up to help facilitate the adoption of animals so that euthanasia rates can be controlled.

10. The Shelter should review all its policies and procedures to make sure it is in compliance with all applicable TCA codes.

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