Hamblen County animal shelter internal problems could affect fun

Hamblen County animal shelter internal problems could affect funding

Posted:
A number of viewers contacted 6 News with concerns over animal care at the shelter following a shakeup in leadership after several former employees were terminated. A number of viewers contacted 6 News with concerns over animal care at the shelter following a shakeup in leadership after several former employees were terminated.
Shelter volunteer Kelly Moore told 6 News by phone that she has noticed a decline in cleanliness at the shelter under the new management. Shelter volunteer Kelly Moore told 6 News by phone that she has noticed a decline in cleanliness at the shelter under the new management.
Morristown Mayor Danny Thomas said the city has not found any problems with animal care at the facility, saying all of the problems were administrative. Morristown Mayor Danny Thomas said the city has not found any problems with animal care at the facility, saying all of the problems were administrative.
Eldridge admits there have been problems among personnel at the shelter in recent months and said it all comes down to what he calls personal differences between some current and former staff members. Eldridge admits there have been problems among personnel at the shelter in recent months and said it all comes down to what he calls personal differences between some current and former staff members.
By SAMANTHA MANNING
6 News Reporter

MORRISTOWN (WATE) - Problems among board members at a local animal shelter are leading to questions over the future of county funding for the facility and the level of care for animals.

Hamblen County Mayor Bill Brittain told 6 News last month he recommended to County Commission they hold off on voting on a contract with the Morristown-Hamblen Humane Society until internal issues are resolved.

Brittain said currently, the county operates on a verbal month-to-month contract with the facility.

A number of viewers contacted 6 News with concerns over animal care at the shelter following a shakeup in leadership after several former employees were terminated. 

Shelter volunteer Kelly Moore told 6 News by phone that she has noticed a decline in cleanliness at the shelter under the new management. 

Morristown Mayor Danny Thomas said the city has not found any problems with animal care at the facility, saying all of the problems were administrative.

Steven Eldridge now runs the shelter and has been the director for about a month and a half.

"I try to feed the animals at least twice a day," Eldridge said. "My guys they know to do a walk through every 30 to 40 minutes to make sure there's nothing messed up. Make sure everybody's fed, got water."

Eldridge admits there have been problems among personnel at the shelter in recent months and said it all comes down to what he calls personal differences between some current and former staff members.

Eldridge said the differences have even led to the shelter denying the service of some volunteers.

“If it's causing problems for the organization, I try to keep it away until everything's resolved,” Eldridge said. “I made it a point to make sure there's no drama so yes volunteers are being turned away at the present moment."

Brittain said Hamblen County allocates $133,500 to the shelter each year and Morristown covers $137,890.

Thomas told 6 News the shelter has been working on improving administrative issues including accounting problems and deficiencies in standard operating procedures but he said the shelter has made great improvements in recent weeks.

Thomas said when it comes to public concern over the care of animals, he said the city has found no problems.

"I too have received calls and each time I've contacted a board member or gone down to look at the facilities and every time the facilities are adequate," Thomas said.

“If the public is worried about the way the place is run, come by do a walk through,” Eldridge said. “Come take a look for yourself."

The shelter currently leases its building from the city of Morristown but Thomas said the shelter is working on finding funding to move into a larger property to accommodate the growing intake.

Eldridge said they are always looking for people to adopt the animals, especially cats, because the cat intake is on the rise.


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