Tuesday, December 8, 2009

AR Animal Shelter Accused of Abuse

Updated: Tuesday, 13 Oct 2009, 9:25 PM CDT
Published : Tuesday, 13 Oct 2009, 9:25 PM CDT


Forrest City, Ark. - A disturbing You Tube video shows sad conditions and sick dogs at an animal shelter in Forrest City, Arkansas. The local Humane Society says it’s behind the video.

Forrest City Humane Society volunteer Gay Schwartz is one of the video’s producers. She says volunteers shot it inside the city animal shelter this summer, “It was to document and enable us to present to the public what we’re seeing here.”

Volunteer Janie Hicks says the conditions and sick dogs just scratch the surface, “There are maggots in the video where the dogs were thrown without being bagged.”

The Humane Society Volunteers say the city isn’t doing its job at the shelter.

When Fox 13 stopped by on Tuesday, volunteers showed us rodent droppings that even covered a fax machine. Many dogs had empty water bowls. Animal Control Director Roy Hamilton showed up and filled the bowls.

Mayor Gordon McCoy also paid a visit while our crew was inside. He had watched the video too, “That’s what it’s designed for, to stir up emotion in people. I tell people, come and see for yourself.”

The Mayor supports the Animal Control Director and the job he’s doing in the shelter, but doesn’t stand behind the awkward relationship with the Humane Society.

The city shelter was built on land donated to the Humane Society, so both are staking claim in the facility. Mayor McCoy says, “It’s a bad marriage and we have to separate ourselves at some point in time.” In the event of a separation, a judge will decided who owns what.

Some city council members say that if a judge decides that the city owns everything, they will ask the Humane Society to leave the facility.