Campbell County residents still without animal shelter

Campbell County residents still without animal shelter

Posted:
This six-week-old kitten got caught under the Darrett's home, but there was no animal control for them to call. This six-week-old kitten got caught under the Darrett's home, but there was no animal control for them to call.
"I hate to see a little thing like this hurt," Roe Darrett said. "I hate to see a little thing like this hurt," Roe Darrett said.
"This is the price the Campbell County people are paying for someone meddling in business they had no business into," Campbell County Deputy Mayor David Young said "This is the price the Campbell County people are paying for someone meddling in business they had no business into," Campbell County Deputy Mayor David Young said

By ALEXIS ZOTOS
6 News Reporter

JACKSBORO (WATE) –  It's been eight weeks since the Campbell County Animal Shelter closed its door over allegations over improper actions by the shelter's director and county officials say the community is on its own.  

Campbell County Deputy Mayor David Young says they will not reopen the shelter until the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation completes their investigation.

He says at this point there is still "no proof," despite employees of that shelter talking on camera to 6 News confirming those allegations.

"All we have are the rumors and allegations that have been there from day one," Young said.

Now the non-profit organization Friends of Campbell County Animals (FCCA) is being forced to step into a job that is supposed to be done by the county, paid for by taxpayer dollars.

Roe Darrett is one of those taxpayers suffering from a lack of a shelter. He and his wife rescued a six-week-old kitten from under their building.

"He got hung under the house and cried for about four days," Darrett said, while cuddling the pale orange kitten.

With no animal control, the Darretts had to rescue him on their own, but he was injured and now his leg must be amputated.

"I hate to see a little thing like this hurt," he said.

But Deputy Mayor Young says they will not respond to calls like this.

And when we asked who the Darretts and other citizens are supposed to call?

"Call whoever they want to call, because we are not providing any services at this time," he said defiantly.

Young says they were forced to close the shelter because of the complaints.

"This is the price the Campbell County people are paying for someone meddling in business they had no business into," he said, referring the Facebook page that called out the director Betty Crumley on allegations of abuse.

The county is answering calls about dog bites, sending the sheriff's deputies to respond and relying partially on LaFollette's animal control officer.  

But for strays, he says the community is on its own.

"I'm sure a lot of people are resorting back to around the lakes and I'm sure there are people who are taking it into their own hands and taking care of that. That may not be the best way, but that's the old way," Young said. 

At the shelter, the cages remain empty as TBI continues the investigation, and with no plans to reopen the shelter until it's complete, the FCCA has no choice but to take in any animals that need help.

"I think it's irresponsible. It's completely irresponsible," said Patricia Simpson, the rescue coordinator for FCCA. "We're happy to do as much as we can, but there's a limit to what we can do, physically, financially and emotionally."

The group is funding their efforts out of their own pockets and credit cards.

"We've been thrust into adoption and rescue and animal control officer. We've been on the mountain chasing puppies, we've been in creeks chasing puppies, we've been everywhere," Simpson says.

The group is taking on a role that is supposed to be provided by the county. And when asked whether the county would close down other services such as the library or health department if allegations of wrongdoing were found, Young said no.

"Depending on what that service was, probably not a library or health department, but we had no choice in doing this," Young said.

He said they would simply find a new director, but said that was not something they were looking to do with the animal shelter, despite receiving applications from people interested in taking on the role of interim director.

"We're not looking for that," Young said. "When it gets open and running, we'll get off on a brand new foot and we'll have the documentation that something was either done wrong and we're going to correct it, or we'll have documentation that says there was nothing done irregular."

For now the FCCA is the only one responding to the needs of people like the Darretts, who have nowhere else to turn.

"I just call him Booger," Darrett said talking about the kitten in his arms. "Because I hope he will get the surgery he needs and then someone can adopt him."

The Darretts are in need of funds to help Booger. You can make a donation at the Animal Hospital of Campbell County or you can donate to the Friends of Campbell County Animals on their website.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WATE. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.