Animal cruelty investigation at Sullivan County Animal Shelter underway as county makes improvements


SULLIVAN COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE CONFIRMS– AN INVESTIGATION INTO ALLEGATIONS OF ANIMAL CRUELTY AT THE SULLIVAN COUNTY ANIMAL SHELTER. INVESTIGATORS COULD NOT REVEAL ANY OTHER INFORMATION — BUT IT COMES AT A TIME WHEN SULLIVAN COUNTY LEADERS ARE WORKING TO IMPROVE AN ANIMAL SHELTER THEY SAY WAS LEFT TO THEM IN “DEPLORABLE CONDITIONS..” BUT CAROLINE CORRIGAN FOUND OUT SOME SHELTER VOLUNTEERS HAVE COMPLAINTS ABOUT THE IMPROVEMENTS. NATS— DOGS BARKING DOGS IN KENNELS ON THE FLOOR…..CATS IN CAGES STACKED UP TO THE CEILING… NATS— MEOW VOLUNTEER SARAH FOSTER SAYS YEARS OF OVERCROWDING AND NEGLECT OF THE BUILDING HAVE LEFT ANIMALS IN BAD CONDITIONS… SOT: “THE SHELTER HAS BEEN A PROBLEM FOR AWHILE….WHEN YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT THE CONDITIONS OF THE SHELTER, IT’S REALLY JUST NOT GOOD, IT’S VERY OBVIOUS THAT THEY NOT BEEN MAINTAINED OVER THE YEARS..” NATS—- MEOW SULLIVAN COUNTY MAYOR RICHARD VENABLE— SAYS THE COUNTY RECEIVED FULL RESPONSIBILITY OF THE SHELTER IN JANUARY AND HAS SINCE STRIVED TO MAKE IMPROVEMENTS… SOT: “WE HAD A SHLETER THAT WAS IN DEPLORABLE CONDITIONS, RATS, AND THE MICE THAT WERE EATING THE WIRE, THE TELEPHONE SYSTEMS DIDN’T WORK HALF THE TIME, IT WAS DEPLORABLE.” STARTING WITH $80,000 FOR UPGRADES—- FOR MORE EMPLOYEES, TO GET TRUCKS RUNNING, PHONES WORKING…. AND TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL SPACE…..WITH THIS PORTABLE CLASSROOM. SOT: “AND I DON’T THINK THAT IS AN IMPROVEMENT…” SOT: “A TEMPORARY STRUCTURE, JUST TO GIVE THE PUBLIC SOMEWHERE TO GO THAT WAS CLEAN AND SMELLED GOOD, AND WE WERE CRITICIZED ON FACEBOOK OVER STRUCTURE, JUST TO GIVE THE PUBLIC SOMEWHERE TO GO THAT WAS CLEAN AND SMELLED GOOD, AND WE WERE CRITICIZED ON FACEBOOK OVER THE WEEKED FOR DOING THAT, ‘IS THIS THE BEST SULLIVAN COUNTY CAN DO?’ WELL IT’S THE BEST WE CAN DO TODAY.” THE SHELTER— WAS DESIGNED TO HOLD A MAXIMUM OF 120 ANIMALS…..RIGHT NOW, IT HOLDS 250. VENABLE SAYS THE STATE RECENTLY GRANTED THE SHELTER— WITH A CORPORATE CHARTER, WHICH MAKES THE SHELTER A SEPARATE ENTITY— APART FROM THE COUNTY. SOT: “IT CAN ACCEPT DONATIONS FOR RUNNING THE SHELTER AND IT MEANS THEY ARE GOING TO ESTABLISH A BOARD OF DIRECTORS FOR THAT CORPORATION…” A BOARD THAT, WHEN APPOINTED, WILL HAVE FULL RESPONSIBILITY OVER THE SHELTER…. WITH CONTINUED FUNDING FROM THE COUNTY. SOT: “THIS IS A BABY STEP, THIS IS ONE OF MANY STEPS BUT THIS IS ALSO A STEP THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN TAKEN 7 MONTHS AGO…” THE SULLIVAN COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE TELLS US ITS ABUSE INVESTIGATION STEMS FROM COMPLAINTS THAT ARE ALLEGED TO HAVE HAPPENED THIS YEAR.

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