Hawkins Co. humane society president talks about allegations

Hawkins Co. Humane Society president talks about animal abuse allegations

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"Unfortunately, euthanasia is part of it. Do I like it? No, absolutely not," Eddie McNally said. "Unfortunately, euthanasia is part of it. Do I like it? No, absolutely not," Eddie McNally said.

By Aniseh Hamour, Weekend Anchor/Digital Journalist

CHURCH HILL (WJHL) - The president of the Hawkins County Humane Society speaks out about allegations against his organization.

Last week at the Hawkins County Humane Society's annual election meeting, about two dozen people gathered to ask President Eddie McNally to step down.

These people call themselves concerned citizens and have a lengthy list of complaints against the shelter, including animal abuse and improper euthanasia of animals.

McNally said these allegations are absolutely false, and blamed a difference of opinions among board members for many of the problems. He said some board members disagree with the way he runs the shelter. He said they would like to see all animals vetted, spayed or neutered, and make it a no-kill shelter, things he said they cannot afford to do.

"Unfortunately, euthanasia is part of it. Do I like it? No, absolutely not," McNally said.

He also said personal differences may be to blame for some of the allegations. "It has to be revengeful retaliation, that's the only conclusion I can come up with, I don't know what exactly their motive is," he said.

Once concern that has surfaced involved the improper euthanasia of animals at the shelter. McNally said the organization employs two people who are certified to perform the procedure by the Tennessee Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners.

"I am confident the process is carried out within the law and in accordance with the law," he said.

McNally said this conflict with certain members of the board has resulted in threats – threats that may have caused former Vice President Danny Alvis to resign on Thursday.

"I will defend myself, I will protect myself, I will defend and protect my family and my property within the bounds of the law and my rights under the U.S. Constitution," he said.

McNally said none of this is going to change how the Hawkins County Humane Society does business.

"We're going to proceed, business as usual, we're going to put our efforts into positive outcome for this organization for the animals that are housed here, that's what's on our minds," he said.

News Channel 11 reached out to the Hawkins County Sheriff's Office to find out what role they're playing in this conflict.

Chief Deputy Tony Allen said 25-30 complaints against the Humane Society have been filed.

Allen said he and the sheriff are researching who governs humane societies.

"Everybody's got to be held accountable to somebody, and that's what we're trying to figure out," he said.

He said since the Hawkins County Humane Society is a non-profit, the Sheriff's Department does not necessarily have jurisdiction to regulate how they do business.

Allen said they've been in contact with members of the Health Department and other state agencies.

"We're just trying to determine what role the Sheriff's Office needs to play in all of this. We want to make sure we do things right, but also we want to make sure the right people are notified, make sure the right outcome," he said.

Allen said the Sheriff's Office would definitely step in if they find evidence of a crime being committed.

Meanwhile, the group of concerned citizens met this weekend in Church Hill to discuss ways to move forward toward improving the Humane Society, without Eddie McNally.

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