Animal Control Abuse Allegations Continue - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

7/31/2007-Smith County

Animal Control Abuse Allegations Continue

The Northeast Public Heath District, the people that run the Tyler animal control responded to the harsh allegations brought against them by the Humane Society of Smith County.

A lot of damage has been done to the relationship between the two organizations. However they have agreed to sit down and talk about their issues with each other.

These are some serious accusations. The Humane Society says Tyler Animal Control is failing to simply work with their shelter employees and more seriously they question the animal control officer's conduct including possible animal abuse.

They have some pictures that, they say, prove that point. The Humane Society says a dog, named Duke, was a family pet. But when he we brought to their shelter, he was unconscious, that the animal control officer dragged him out of the vehicle by the neck and another 50 ft. into a kennel.

George Roberts, who oversees these animal control officers says his officers main goal is to protect the public and that sometimes dogs are injured in the process.

"Obviously there is animosity in the relationship," said Roberts, "We can be perceived as a huge problem because we are bringing them 4400 animals a year from the city to impound."

Another allegation from the Humane Society is that there is no accountability for the former owners of these dogs dropped off in horrible conditions; and no way to find out who is responsible.

"If we were given information we would do the leg work and contact the owners. We don't get enough information from them," said Executive Director Gayle Helms.

But Roberts says his officers are doing all they can, "We wrote approximately 600 citations for violations of animal control violations."

In talking to both sides we found there are some points of agreement. That the Humane Society is completely out of space, and they put down 50 animals each day. Secondly, that the current laws aren't strict enough.

"We do need to work together because both of us are needed and necessary to this community," said Roberts.

While both parties have agreed to discuss these issues. They have not scheduled a time. 

Both Smith County Judge Joel Baker and Tyler City manager Bob Turner have offered their services to try and find more common ground between the two groups.

The Smith County D.A.'s office is now looking into the story of Duke.

Danielle Capper, Reporting.


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