Former Campbell Co. Animal Shelter employee sues county

Former Campbell Co. Animal Shelter employee sues county over dismissal

Brenda Watkins Brenda Watkins

JACKSBORO (WATE) - A former employee of the Campbell County Animal Shelter filed a lawsuit against the county government asking to be returned to her position or be paid $100,000.

In the suit, Brenda Watkins says she complained on April 9, 2013 of inhumane treatment of animals housed at the shelter, which is owned and maintained by the Campbell County Government.

Watkins claims she observed dogs and cats being improperly euthanized and some were still breathing when placed in a freezer. She also says she saw animals crying in pain after being given the euthanizing agent.

She also says animals were kept in kennels on cold days and nights with no heat and were locked outside on cold nights as well.

Watkins said she was placed in administrative leave and later fired for her refusal to participate or remain silent about the activities she observed.

The suit claims the county government and its employees violated the Non-Livestock Animal Humane Death Act.

Watkins says she wants to be returned to her position with the shelter, or if that is not practical, be awarded compensatory damages not to exceed $100,000.

Campbell County mayor William Baird closed the Adrion Baird Animal Center in April after a number of claims regarding director Betty Crumley's actions, including that she unnecessarily euthanized animals.

Crumley resigned and the shelter reopened in August under new management.

A Campbell County grand jury decided not to file charges against Crumley, saying no wrongdoing was found at the shelter.

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