Residents Call For Change At Coffee Co Animal Shelter
COFFEE COUNTY, Tenn.- Nearly two dozen people demonstrated, rallied and called for change at a county animal shelter.
Nearly two dozen people demonstrated outside Coffee County's animal shelter spent Friday afternoon protesting an animal control officer used his gun to euthanize Toby, a 16 year old Labrador who belonged to the son of the county mayor.
Most of the demonstrators want county leaders to make some changes, and do whatever is necessary to make sure it never happens again.
Earlier in the week animal control officer Charlie Brown euthanized a stray dog with his gun. A dog he found lying on the side of the road.. His friend Bill Albert, who helps find homes for strays said Brown thought the 16 year old dog was in pain
"You know when an animal is dying do you let it suffer or do you put it down the best way you know how," said Brown's friend.
What Brown probably didn't know is the dog belonged to County Mayor David Pennington's son.
Toby was Brian Pennington's long time pet.
"I was devastated that it happened to my son, but I'd be devastated if it happened to anyone else's son or daughter. Of course since it's my son it's getting a lot more publicity," said Mayor Pennington.
The animal control department is not only under fire for the shooting incident, but also for dumping dead animals. Normally vets euthanize the animals and they're stored in a freezer until a private company hauls them away.
"The freezer has been down, but they've got a brand new freezer, so yes there probably were some in a dumpster," explained the Mayor.
Most of the protesters hold no ill will toward Brown, but they're pretty upset with the Mayor and other county officials. Usually a veterinarian euthanizes animals with a lethal injection, but in this case a vet wasn't available. So the animal control officer made the decision to shoot the dog. Most of the protesters feel the county put the animal control officer in a bad position.
It's illegal in Tennessee to euthanize pets with a gun, unless it's an emergency. The sheriff's department handed the case to District Attorney Mickey Lane He says criminal charges won't be filed in the case because dog owner Brian Pennington does not want to press charges.
Tuesday, May 21 2013 7:04 PM EDT2013-05-21 23:04:56 GMT
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