“We will not tolerate the abuse of any animal.” (HUGE asterisk)
October 18, 2012
The Horn Lake Animal Shelter in Mississippi holds an animal control contract and has an ACO to investigate crimes against animals and help bring those responsible to justice. The shelter is only open on weekdays and anyone needing help with an animal when the shelter is closed is directed to call the police department:
Our office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. You may reach us at 662-393-5857 during those hours. After hours EMERGENCY ONLY call Horn Lake Police Department, 662-393-6174.
On Sunday, the Commercial Appeal ran a story about 3 individuals who had starved and neglected dogs. All 3 were brought to justice with the help of shelter staff who indicated their commitment to ending such crimes against pets:
Animal Shelter director Frances Williams added, “We will not tolerate the abuse of any animal. We will pursue the maximum penalties and fines that can include jail time up to six months on each count.”
On Tuesday, ABC24 aired a piece in which Frances Williams admitted abusing a dog at the Horn Lake shelter.
Bentley, a German shepherd mix, has been kept unfed with a cover over its cage since Wednesday, October 10. Shelter Director Francis Williams says Officer Lynn Brown told her to do it to break the dog of his aggressive behavior.
“I’m trusting Officer Brown – Officer Lynn Brown – and his method,” she said.
Williams admits she was told to stop feeding the dog, and he was given a little food on October 15.
“The dog is not starving, the dog is very healthy, he’s not thin,” said Williams. “Dogs, from what I understand, can survive several – 2, 3, 4 weeks without food.”
So apparently the standard of care at the Horn Lake shelter is whether a pet can survive the abuse inflicted upon him by Ms. Williams. Thankfully, another employee refused to participate in the mistreatment of Bentley and blew the whistle. As a result, she lost her job.
Officer Brown says everything is groovy because someone was watching Bentley suffer:
Brown said while he wasn’t a certified trainer, he has trained hundreds of dogs for police agencies and the military.
“There was no cruelty because the dog was being monitored, still had water, still had shelter and was being watched. And he was fat anyway.”
And fat dogs are excellent candidates for archaic deprivation methods to “break” them. Because fat.
Although Ms. Williams appears to be offering some sort of Nuremberg Defense, WMC-TV reports that Officer Brown’s boss is uninterested in the case, at best:
Horn Lake Police Chief Darryl Whaley says Brown is a K-9 handler with the police department, and has also trained animals in the military. But Whaley says he does not know what prompted the shelter to take the officer’s advice.
“He was asked for advice on this day. But at the end of the day, we don’t have anything to do with the shelter,” said Chief Whaley. “He was a police officer, either on duty or off duty, and did not have any oversight over them. Not in the same division, so if they chose to follow the advice then so be it.”
So be it. And if Officer Brown tells Ms. Williams to “break” a toddler of bad behavior through severe deprivation methods, so be that too, I guess. Apparently it’s a free-for-all under Chief Whaley’s watch in Horn Lake.
Horn Lake is a suburb of Memphis, TN. Thank Ponies I don’t live there. Can you imagine finding a hungry stray dog in Horn Lake that you do not personally have the resources to feed and shelter? I don’t think you’d want to call the Horn Lake Animal Shelter. Or the Horn Lake Police Department. And I don’t see driving the dog over to MAS as an option either.
If you want to contact Chief Whaley and encourage him to fully investigate this case, send a respectful e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Mayor of Horn Lake is Nat Baker and his assistant is Andrea Mullen. If you choose to contact them regarding the employment of Frances Williams as director of the city shelter, please keep your comments polite:
To contact the Mayor or Mrs. Mullen you may call 662-342-3502 or e-mail email@example.com
Meanwhile, can anyone in the area get Bentley away from the people who are abusing him?