Animal shelter director receives death threats after allegations

Campbell County animal shelter director receives death threats after abuse allegations

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A Campbell County animal shelter is being called out for abuse in a social media campaign but the shelter tells a very different story. A Campbell County animal shelter is being called out for abuse in a social media campaign but the shelter tells a very different story.

By ALEXIS ZOTOS
6 News Reporter

JACKSBORO (WATE) - A Campbell County animal shelter is being called out for abuse in a social media campaign but the shelter tells a very different story.

The shelter's director is now under police protection, receiving dozens of death threats, but the majority of them are from out of state.

The outrage over the Adrion Baird Animal Shelter in Campbell County seemed to start on Monday when a Facebook page and an online petition were created specifically calling out the shelter's director.

6 News spoke on the phone with two of the people behind in the campaign, one is from the United Kingdom, the other wouldn't say where she is from, but it's not here in Tennessee. They call themselves "Animal Warriors" and admit they've never been to the shelter but received an online tip.

6 News took their concerns to the director herself and got a very different story.

The video has received more than 10,000 views on YouTube since it was uploaded last Friday - it accuses Betty Crumley of animal cruelty.

But Crumley, the shelter supervisor says it's simply not true.

"There is no truth what so ever in that whole video," Crumley explained.

She does admit part of the video is her shelter, but the text does not match what's actually happening.

"In the start of the video, the three dogs, they were euthanized. We were waiting for no heart beat to put them in the freezer," she explained of the images. "Yes they were euthanized but the guy that did that video, it was May of 2009, it was a disgruntled employee, and he was later fired."

She said the dogs were given the proper dose of the euthanasia drugs and were not killed in front of one another as indicated in the text of the video.

The video has sparked thousands of calls, the majority from out of state, many threatening Crumley's life.

In the span of an hour, 6 News witnessed more than a dozen threatening phone calls.

One caller said, "You are a disgusting human being, I hope someone runs over your *** and kills you."

The deputy mayor also denies these allegations and is taking the threats very seriously.

"When we find out who started all this we are going to pursue this as actively and severely as they have pursued us," David Young, Campbell County Deputy Mayor said.

The Facebook page has 1,600 "likes" but the photos are not from the Adrion Baird Shelter. In fact the main image used pops up when you Google "dead dogs."

The video says no bed, no blankets, and no towels, but that is not what we saw inside.

The video also alleges they don't use the proper amount of lethal drugs.

"We're using a double dose than we used to use," explained animal control officer Otis Pool.

According to the protocol for administering the lethal drug, for every 10 pounds - it requires one CC or dose. But the shelter uses more so the animals feel nothing. Looking at the records shown in the video that is evident. For a 25 pound cat, three CCs were administered.

Pool's initials are on that chart.

"They feel calm, they don't feel any pain," he said describing the process.

Crumley says unfortunately euthanasia is part of their job. They take in between 4,000-5,000 animals a year. Their euthanasia rate is around 80 percent. That is around the norm for other shelters we looked at in our area.

"I am not putting down animals for the fun of it," she explained. "It's very upsetting to have to do this."

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