GREGG COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - Some former employees of the Humane Society of Northeast Texas in Longview say they quit because of filthy conditions and disease spreading among animals.
The city of Longview, which contracts with the shelter, says that complaint was resolved and the facility is cleaner than it has ever been, but the former employees say that is not enough.
Tammy Burke says she could no longer stomach working at the shelter after an incident July 4, when a freezer broke and animal remains leaked out. "It's blood [and] maggots from the animals sitting there for four days," said Burke. "The freezer broke and Sanitation didn't come on Saturdays anymore, so they sat there in the heat."
Longview Developmental Services Director Kevin Cummings says the city received a complaint. He says it was quickly resolved "both through our actions and by increasing the number of pickups that our sanitation workers were doing, as well as the shelter calling the appropriate repairmen."
Robin Jackson worked for the shelter a short time and says she could not stand the conditions and high rate of animals being euthanized. She says many dogs got Parvo, including one she adopted. She also says animals suffered in the sweltering heat.
"There's no air conditioning in that puppy room, so exacerbate that heat with the normal body functions of that puppy or two or three puppies in a cage, and you've got that smell," said Jackson.
The shelter's executive director said we could only get a response from their attorney, but we were told he was out of state today.
Cummings says he has heard the air going out from time to time. "In the past, that's always been addressed with fans and water coolers and that sort of thing. I haven't heard of this recently," said Cummings.
He says the shelter is cleaner now than it has been in a long time, but the former employees say the only real change will come with new management.
In Texas, oversight boards are required to have a veterinarian, but Kevin Cummings says the city of Longview just realized they are not in compliance with that law. He says the city is putting together a board and it will soon go before the city council to make it part of their local ordinance.