Cumberland County DA calls special meeting to discuss animal abu

Cumberland County DA calls special meeting to discuss animal abuse

Posted:
A special meeting was called Wednesday at the Cumberland County Justice Center to hear both sides of the issue. A special meeting was called Wednesday at the Cumberland County Justice Center to hear both sides of the issue.
"I feel we have some options going forward and that's what we are looking for - people who are willing to work together and take care of the abuse cases in this county," said A Time 4 Paws President Karen McMeekin. "I feel we have some options going forward and that's what we are looking for - people who are willing to work together and take care of the abuse cases in this county," said A Time 4 Paws President Karen McMeekin.

By JOSH AULT
6 News Reporter

CROSSVILLE (WATE) - The district attorney general in Cumberland County is setting ground rules for animal abuse allegations.

This is after animal right activists say animal control officers are not charging people who abuse animals.

A special meeting was called Wednesday at the Cumberland County Justice Center to hear both sides of the issue.

"He allowed a dying dog to go to a neighbor, tied to a rope, for nine days," said A Time 4 Paws President Karen McMeekin during the meeting.

McMeekin contacted 6 News in November to address concerns about a dog named D.O.G. She says the owner of the dog was never charged with animal cruelty after being found starved.

She then contacted us again on April 1 to tell us about two more dogs, named Faith and Prayer, that were also found abused.

No charges were ever filed in either cases.

"It appeared to me that there was some misunderstanding on both sides on what the rights and responsibilities of the protocol were," said Cumberland County District Attorney General Randall York. "Obviously there is."

"I want the truth to be told and it ain't being told," said Cumberland County Commissioner Mike Harvel, who is in charge of animal control under his assistant sanitation director responsibilities.

Along with protocol, one big question that arose in the meeting was whose responsibility it is to confiscate abused animals.

Animal control says it is theirs, and the president for A Time 4 Paws says they have that right under state law.

So to get everything clarified, York is going to get an attorney general's opinion about what authority A Time 4 Paws has.
          
"I feel we have some options going forward and that's what we are looking for - people who are willing to work together and take care of the abuse cases in this county," said McMeekin.

She plans to meet with York privately about the two cases that started this entire situation.

York says once they know what kind of authority A Time 4 Paws volunteers have, they will meet again and write out specific protocol for animal abuse allegations in Cumberland County.

He says they should get an answer back quickly on what kind of authority A Time 4 Paws has in working abuse cases.

They may also look at forming a task force to oversee animal abuse cases in the county.

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