Investigate Animal Abuse at Shelter

Target: Hawkins County Mayor Melville Bailey

Goal: Urge immediate investigation of alleged animal abuse at animal shelter

Accusations of serious animal abuse recently surfaced against the Hawkins County Animal Shelter in Tennessee. The shelter is accused of underfeeding the animals, as well as unacceptable euthanasia practices. A former board member said that she had seen kittens “tossed into a box like they were nothing” as a method of euthanasia. In addition, there were many reports of animals entering the shelter at a healthy weight and leaving dead and excessively underweight.

Local residents gathered together to raise their voice for the voiceless. Yet, when the group asked about the alleged abuses, both the president and vice president refused to make any comment. It seems that the shelter owners expect the allegations to fade away.

However, the allegations of the residents demand an official investigation under Tennessee’s animal cruelty statute. If the underfeeding allegation is true, then the shelter president or vice president should be convicted for “cruelty to animals” (class A misdemeanor) for failing “unreasonably to provide necessary food, water, care or shelter for an animal in the person’s custody”. In addition, it is possible that their euthanasia method classifies as aggravated cruelty (a class E felony). Either charge requires investigation from the Hawkins County Sheriff Department.

Sign this petition to demand that County Mayor Melville Bailey direct the Hawkins County Sheriff to begin an official investigation into the conduct of the Hawkins County animal shelter.


Dear Mayor Melville Bailey,

Allegations of severe animal abuse have been brought against the Hawkins County Humane Society animal shelter by citizens of Hawkins County. Though the group first requested answers from the President and Vice President of the shelter, both refused to comment. Yet, these allegations demand an investigation.

The group, which includes former shelter board member Sue Pierce, has accused the shelter of improper euthanasia and underfeeding. Animals are entering the shelter healthy and dying at a malnourished weight. Pierce is quoted as claiming that euthanasia was sometimes performed by simply throwing kittens into a box.

If true, these allegations certainly qualify as cruelty against animals under Tennessee’s criminal offenses against property statutes. Tennessee law normally refers these cases to the county Humane Society. However, because the Humane Society of Hawkins County is being investigated, I urge you to instead request the Sheriff to begin an investigation into these allegations. Finding justice for injured and dead animals is crucial, and the prevention of future cruelty is both human and right. Do something now to end these offenses.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: me via Wikimedia Commons

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  1. Misdemeanor? Why not a Felony… and throw away the key. Please Shut the torture chamber down and all others where ever they hide. These precious babies didn’t have a chance. Please help!

  2. This makes me sick!!! If the shelter cant provide the accommodations for these animals, then they should not hide that fact and murder them to cover their inadequacy. Also, the Hawkins County animal shelter has been receiving grant money to provide low cost spay and neuter program, which I called to ask about myself and was told they didn’t offer the service. Get these monsters out if there before they kill any more innocent creatures!!

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