Allegations of Abuse at Warren Co Pound in TN

Warren Co Animal Control in TN has been the subject of pet abuse allegations for some time.  In August 2010, The Warren Co Humane Society (WCHS) rescued a litter of newborn puppies which had been found in the pound’s sewer drain.

A litter of newborn pups huddles together in raw sewage in a drain at the Warren Co pound in August 2010.

There is a document on WCHS’s website which purports to be several months’ worth of 2010 kill logs from the AC pound.  The dates on the kill logs appear to show numerous pets being impounded and killed without being held for three business days as required by law.  The HS contends that the pound is closed to the public and no one but staff is allowed inside.

A video posted to YouTube (Warning:  disturbing images) in 2010 alleges the pound has a 90% kill rate, does not list its pets online, refuses to accept help from volunteers and forces dogs to eat off the same concrete floor they must use to relieve themselves.  Warren Co Executive John Pelham seems to feel that allegations of abuse at the pound are news to him.

The AC director is reportedly under investigation due to allegations that dogs at the pound are being kept in their outdoor runs during cleaning instead of being let indoors.  The director apparently resigned last week but immediately withdrew his resignation.

The WCHS and local pet advocates have been calling for meaningful change.  There is an online petition with about 4000 signatures currently and protests have been held locally.  There is a vigil planned for tonight according to the WCHS Facebook page and you can follow further actions there.

19 thoughts on “Allegations of Abuse at Warren Co Pound in TN

  1. I hope they get a lot of people at their vigil!

    I don’t know…if that were local to me, I might be inclined to get a large group together and just gently push through the doors and “occupy” the place with cleaning supplies, towels, blankets, evac animals in desperate need out…

    Nothing violent, nothing threatening, just the concerned many serving the existing need. Oh – church groups! Doing God’s work caring for His creatures. That’ll play well in the news – “you were arrested for trespassing?” “Yes, we were trying to help clean up the facility that our tax dollars pay for and caring for animals that are being criminally neglected and abused again on our tax dollars and for some reason they think that we’re the criminals…”

  2. Too many of our American shelters are horror stories of disease and death (some as bad or worst than this one). I agree with Mikken that a large group of caring people need to start a non – violent shelter “occupy” in their local shelter to draw the media so the rest of the people on their area will find out what is really happening in their tax run “public” pound.

    1. Agree completely.

      There are too many of our nation’s shelters that we hear about ending up like this.

  3. lets put all the staff in the raw sewage and strip them down leave them down there for a few days see how they like it god help them i dont know how they can sleep at night something has to be done

  4. Here’s the Facebook post

    THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! WHAT A VICTORY TONIGHT!!!!!! VICTORY FOR OUR ANIMALS!!!!! Never again will an animal suffer in warren county at the hands of David Hennessee, he has been given many chances to stop and he decided he did not want to, thankfully the board did hear the citizens and fired him 3-2 vote for Mr Hennessee to be fired by the board, truth and justice prevailed tonight!! My husband and I have been going to the Health & Welfare board and committee members since 2008 with complaints of abuse that we personally witnessed with our own eyes and documented records over and over and many citizens of warren county have done the same thing and tonight the truth came out in the open meeting Mr. Hennessee did confess he lied, and then confessed he did hose dogs down!!! Thank you to everyone that came out tonight, thank you for your voice it was heard tonight loud & clear as a united peaceful group! Sadly we were not allowed to speak so we could not ask for the committee to vote to reopen this shelter to the public and to let people take pictures of the dogs and cats so they can get help/rescued! We also would like the rules of animal control to be amended to include a policy banning hosing any dogs while in their care! Will recommend they copy the provisions set forth in the Tennessee commercial breeder act for shelters and kennels that addresses these issues! Also to pass spay & neuter laws which is so important!! One thing from the meeting tonight Mr. Hennessee claims Tennessee has no laws dealing with hosing dogs but you can simply look at the commercial breeders act under section 1200-33-01-3.9 & 3.11 that deal with providing food and bowls and keeping it away from feces and urine and has very detailed rules governing hosing and cleaning the kennels, these are the laws that animal control enforces. If they can go out and fine a private citizen for hosing dogs they should have to follow the same laws and were written to protect the animals in Tennessee from just this type of abuse! The animal control laws have similar provisions already but these are more detailed and newer and would help ensure there is no question as to what is allowed and not allowed! We hope for a caring, compassionate animal control officer to be hired!! Thank you Sally Brock, Diane Starkey and Teddy Boyd the board members for your stand tonight and for making a huge difference in the right direction for animals to be treated humanely! We hate to have to post something on facebook to get the attention needed for change but sometimes that is the only voice we have as anyone who attended the meeting tonight knows there was no attempt to ask questions or here from the citizens! Thank you to everyone that signed our petition and stood with us through this and came forward with many, many stories of abuse they had personally been through with David Hennessee your honesty and bravery made the difference!!

    1. Aw crud. MSN. Do you know who posted this Dot? They need to be given information on why MSN fails and is incompatible with a goal of reducing/eliminating shelter pet killing.

    1. looks like they made this their profile cover… I don’t know how else to share their wall other than this way. sorry I can go look to see who the admin is… brb

      1. this is what is posted on the information page

        Tammy Leary Lerch- President of the Humane Society
        Dawn Briley Austin- Vice President of the Humane Society
        General Information
        Sadly we do not have a building or shelter in Warren County, but that has not stopped us from saving and rescuing many,many animals….we completely rely on foster homes and we give you hope for the animal when you call looking for help with a stray animal, an owner surrendered animals, or to report neglect or abuse. We will always do our very best and go above and beyond to make a difference for…See More

      2. TY Dot. I e-mailed them and included the following info, for anyone who is interested in reading:

        MSN has had a dreadful track record everywhere it’s been passed. MSN sacrifices pets’ lives to ideology. Some examples:

        The city of Los Angeles enacted MSN in 2008 and after the first year, shelter intake and killings were up. Killings increased after the second year as well.

        When CA was considering statewide MSN legislation in 2007, the past president of the California Veterinary Medical Association wrote a lengthy letter to the Board detailing his opposition.

        Killings and costs both went up in King Co, WA after MSN was passed.

        As a result, most every major animal welfare group in the country opposes MSN. That list includes:

        The No Kill Advocacy Center explains “Why Punitive Legislation Fails” (pdf)

        Alley Cat Allies points out that MSN does not reach most intact cats (pdf)

        The “ASPCA is not aware of any credible evidence demonstrating a statistically significant enhancement in the reduction of shelter intake or euthanasia as a result of the implementation of a mandatory spay/neuter law.”

        The American Veterinary Medical Association opposes MSN.
        The complete post, with live links, can be found here:

  5. Well thank goodness he’s out! Who is caring for the animals at the moment – do we know?

    I love how he thought it was ok to hose dogs down because there’s no law against it…sort of like the workers at MAS in 2009 who didn’t know that dogs needed food/water because no one told them…

    1. Sheesh, he makes it sound like he hosed down one dog in the winter weather and that’s why they fired him. He also seems to think it was ok to hose down a dog in the winter weather…says he can still hold his head high…

      Is that a total lack of empathy or a cruel streak? Either way, it speaks to a serious deficiency in his humanity.

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