Sumner County’s State of the Art Shelter Stands on Crappy Floors

Sumner Co AC in TN is a hot mess.  After the pound’s vet was caught on hidden camera heartsticking fully conscious dogs in 2007, reform was promised and the pound was put under the control of the sheriff’s department.  Taxpayers spent $1.3 million to build a new facility in 2011.

The sheriff ended the volunteer program, won’t let anyone post pictures of the animals online and in fact, won’t let anyone past the lobby.  If you want to save an animal, you have to look at pictures the sheriff’s office provides in the lobby.  Despite all these swell reforms, killings are up and live release outcomes are down.  So weird, right?

And there’s more bad news:

When taxpayers spent $1.3 million dollars on this state of the art shelter in 2011, complete with its own flushing system, concrete crews poured a flat floor— a $52 thousand dollar mistake.

As a result, urine and feces pools on the kennel floors, which should have been built sloped in order to allow debris to drain into the flushing system.

A great dane named Chief was held at the Sumner Co pound for 10 days in August following a bite.  Owner Jason Corlew was on vacation but called several times to make sure his pet was ok.  He says none of his calls were returned.  When he picked Chief up from the pound, he was startled to see the dog’s condition:

“He comes out covered in feces, and has urine burns all over him,” recalled Corlew. “His paws, the skin was peeling off because he had been standing in feces for so long.”
Corlew estimated Chief lost about 40 pounds and also had a blood infection.

burned paw
One of Chief’s burned paws, as shown on the News Channel 5 website.

Mr. Corlew has filed a lawsuit against Sumner Co:

The lawsuit is seeking $1,000 to cover bills from the veterinarian. It is also asking the county to upgrade the facility to improve the floors so feces and urine will properly drain away from the animals.

I doubt a lawsuit will do what has clearly needed doing at the Sumner Co pound for many years – put a figurative match to the place, run the pet killers out of town on a rail and start doing the work to actually shelter animals.  Taxpayers need to make their voices heard if any not-fake reform is to ever happen there.

(Thanks Clarice.)

5 thoughts on “Sumner County’s State of the Art Shelter Stands on Crappy Floors

  1. I wish he would sue for a shit-ton more. While he’s likely to get nowhere with the asshats who are running the ‘slaughterhouse’ (it sure as shit isn’t a shelter!), and probably won’t get any cooperation from anyone in government of the county, a bigger lawsuit might draw more attention from the press. More people in this benightened county knowing about the utter prickishness going on there MIGHT help with getting some people together who are willing to work for change. This sheriff is a freaking embarrassment to law enforcement everywhere. What the hell is his reason for not letting people see the animals – it’s not like that kind of behavior doesn’t scream “Something to hide!” right there. Asshat!

  2. The floor mistake falls squarely in the County administration and ultimately the County Commissioners.

    If the engineering called for slopped floors and the construction company did not follow that- they can be held liable.

    If the engineering did not specify slopped flooring then the department head is liable.

    Happens all the time in small communities where someone needs a payoff and they use bogus construction to launder the money thru.

  3. What can an ordinary citizen do to help improve the state of this facility? I want to help and throw a fit about the way this place is run but I’m not sure of my rights. Can a county run agency keep people out? Isn’t it our business? This is tax payers money. Can’t they be held liable? I have so many questions and so much anger about this. I wished I could do something.

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