Campbell County Animal Control disciplined by state board

Campbell County Animal Control disciplined by state board

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By JILL MCNEAL
6 News Anchor/Reporter

JACKSBORO (WATE) - The state is taking disciplinary action against Campbell County Animal Control. Claims started coming out last April about mistreatment and that animals had been improperly euthanized at the county animal shelter.     

A TBI investigation was launched, the shelter was closed temporarily and shelter supervisor Betty Crumley was replaced when the facility reopened. The county grand jury declined to file charges against Crumley, finding no wrongdoing, and the TBI investigation is now closed.   

While the TBI was investigating the Adrian Baird Animal Center in Jacksboro, the state Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners was doing their own investigation. They're the ones who issue euthanasia licenses. Last month, they placed the shelter's certification on probation for a minimum of one year.

The board had a long list of violations, among them professional incompetence, not using a euthanasia room separate from other animals, acts of dishonesty, and inappropriate use of lethal solutions.

"It sounds worse than it is," says Campbell County Mayor William Baird.

He says the shelter did agree to have their two animal control officers recertified in proper euthanasia procedures.

"We hope we got all the problems fixed," Baird says.

Mayor Baird says the two officers in question aren't performing euthanasia right now. It's being done by someone who was hired when the shelter reopened in August. Beth Caldwell came from Young-Williams Animal Center in Knoxville.

"We're heading in the right direction and we're getting better everyday," Baird said.

For Brenda Watkins, the former shelter worker who first told 6 News about problems there, this is validation. 

"I'm glad that what I came out with and reported, somebody is shedding light on it, that it is the truth, that what went on really happened," Watkins said.

She has filed a $100,000 whistleblower lawsuit against the county for wrongful termination.

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