McCracken County will open their own shelter
MCCRACKEN COUNTY, Ky. — Speaking to several staffers at the County Road Department, Judge Executive Van Newberry points to some vacant garages.
"We might need some signs: animal shelter, animal shelter parking," he said.
But Newberry said what the county needs the most is a new place to send animals, that after allegations of improper euthanasia at the McCracken County Humane Society.
After hearing the results of the Sheriff's Department investigation Wednesday, the county sprang into action.
Then-employee Beau Anderson faces criminal charges for improper euthanasia. Sheriff Jon Hayden said there is now proof at least 8,000 animals have been improperly euthanized.
"They're a private, non-profit organization," Newberry said. "They've got their own board. They can basically do what they want."
Still, he is doing what he can. Animal control officers will no longer drop off animals at the McCracken County Humane Society. Instead, they will come to the Road Department. That's why he's rushing to replace cars with kennels.
"They'll be some paint, some new surfaces put down on the floor."
But he said that's temporary. In two weeks, a permanent shelter will be ready inside a nearby county building.
"It's a good thing what's happening," Humane Society employee Jeremiah Robertson said.
Robertson tipped off investigators about what was going on at the shelter. While Beau Anderson faces charges, Robertson said Anderson was not at it alone.
"It just seems like they're trying to distance themselves from Beau and just point the finger at him and that's not right," he said.
He said shelter director Shirley Grimes knew what was going on because she is the treasurer and in charge of the money.
"She knew that these medicines weren't being bought," he said of sedation medicine to put animals down humanely.
Investigators said that medication would have cost $1,000 a year.
Robertson said there is nothing humane about what happens at the McCracken County Humane Society. But he is staying, hoping he can make things better.
Judge Newberry said he is not counting on it and that is why he is starting his own shelter.
"Bottom line is what's good for the dogs and the cats."
Jeremiah Robertson was able to talk with Local 6 because federal whistleblower laws protect his job. He said he does not regret his actions.
Local 6 visited the McCracken County Humane Society Friday. Staffers there told us their organization had chosen not to comment.