Volunteers allege abuse at Warren Co. animal shelter - WKRN News 2

Volunteers allege abuse at Warren Co. animal shelter

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McMINNVILLE, Tenn. -

Volunteers with the Warren County Humane Society spent the day Friday in front of the county administration building to protest what they call continued abuse of animals at the Warren County Animal Control shelter.

"This all started because we got more complaints about the director, Mr. [David] Hennessee, that he was hosing down the dogs again in the cold with a water hose," Clay Lerch, a board member for the Warren County Humane Society, told Nashville's News 2.

He continued, "Each run is made where they can just open the door, to let them inside but he chose to keep washing them down. We were getting complaints from [community members] who were upset."

The recent allegations of abuse are not the only concerns that have been raised about the animal control facility.

In August 2010, the Humane Society rescued newborn puppies from the county facility after they were discovered huddled together in waste water unable to get out of the kennel's sewage drain.

"This has been something that has been an issue for our department for some time as we have other questions raised," Warren County Executive John Pelham told Nashville's News 2.

He said he just recently heard about the allegations of dogs being needlessly sprayed down in cold weather.

"If that has happened and it is verified through our committee members, this issue will be addressed," he said, adding the county's animal control building is open to the public.

"Our facility is open to anyone that wants to go at any time," he said.

However, Warren County Humane Society board members say that's not the case.

Ruta Ivy said, "Nobody can go into rescue, to see if their dog is missing."

"It is closed to the public, they will meet you in the parking lot and you are not allowed to come in," added Helen Johnson.

"After the picture of the puppies that were in the sewer [became public], they got upset and closed the facility off," Lerch explained.

The volunteers hope they can convince county commissioners to change the way the shelter is run.

You can follow the Warren County Humane Society of McMinnville's progress on Facebook or visit the organization's Web site.

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