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Alleged Abuse at Calhoun County Animal Control Shelter

Monsters are supposed to live under the bed and in the closet. They are not supposed to work at your local animal control facility. If the eyewitness reports are true, that's exactly where the monsters of Calhoun County, Alabama reside. Former employees of this facility and local rescuers are working with a local animal advocate and political liaison for AVRAL, Millie Harris, to stop the torture and abuse that is allegedly happening at Calhoun County Animal Control. Ms. Harris has spoken to the Calhoun County Commission and will be meeting with the Sheriff if the commissioners do nothing to stop the abuse, neglect, and torture being visited on the sick, weak, lost, injured, or abandoned animals.

WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES OF ANIMAL ABUSE AND POOR CONDITIONS.Filthy conditions, abuse, and malpractice of a local animal control facility.
WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES OF ANIMAL ABUSE AND POOR CONDITIONS.Filthy conditions, abuse, and malpractice of a local animal control facility.

The allegations are as follows:

  • Intracardiac injection without sedation – William Chapman, Tabitha Barger, and Charles McDonald. Intracardiac injection, also known as heartsticking, without sedation is torture and illegal. The animal is held by a helper while the euthanasia technician sticks a needle into the animal's heart to inject a lethal dose of drugs. This procedure is only legal if the animal is heavily sedated.
  • Co-mingling of the bodies of both dead and living animals, which were presumed to be dead. Dogs, which are not yet dead, have been thrown on a truck in bags with dead dogs and have chewed through the plastic bags in an attempt to escape – William Chapman, Tabitha Barger and Charles McDonald. Dead animals are not to be held in the open where other animals can see them, but this pesky rule was of no consequence to the alleged perpetrators.
  • Delayed care or delayed euthanasia of animals, which has resulted in suffering and amounts to cruelty by the very people entrusted with the care of the animals. One example is a cat with a huge, swollen head that Tabitha Barger refused to euthanize. The next morning, the cat’s head had exploded. – William Chapman, Tabitha Barger and Charles McDonald. Images of the injured cats can be seen in the slide show.
  • Failure to separate dying animals from others. Mother dogs were forced to witness their puppies being heart stuck before they were put down and thrown on the pile with them. Dogs being killed in the open kennels (see photo in slide show) William Chapman, Tabitha Barger and Charles McDonald
  • Slamming dogs’ and cats’ heads against the wall, shattering their skulls – William Chapman. This is not an acceptable form of euthanasia and is animal cruelty.
  • Allowing dogs and cats to suffer during the month of December whenever the money was too scarce for euthanasia drugs – William Chapman.
  • Shooting dogs – William Chapman. In no state or municipality is shooting of dogs at animal shelters legal. In no decent mind is this normal behavior.
  • Hitting a dog in the face as it was dying – Tabitha Barger
  • Starving a horse – Charles McDonald
  • Threatening employee of arrest for theft who attempted to save the life of a mother and litter of puppies, who had them in foster care, and ready for rescue with completed papers. She was forced to return them, and they were killed. – William Chapman
  • Knowingly euthanizing a pet that a family had lost. The employee alerted Tabitha that the lost dog featured in a “Lost Dog” photograph on the front bulletin board was in the back. She would not allow him to use the phone to notify the family and killed the dog instead. – Tabitha Barger
  • Failure to provide water (buckets too high for smaller dogs) and heat in the winter. Dogs have frozen to death being kept outside pens with no source of warmth. – William Chapman, Tabitha Barger and Charles McDonald.

Along with these formal allegations, there is also evidence that dogs and cats were kept in filth. Since the shelter has access to free prison labor, there is no excuse for the animals to live in filth with feces covering the floor of enclosures, the walls, the meager beds, and the dogs. See slide show for photographic evidence of these horrid conditions.

These allegations are supported by several eyewitnesses, former employees and local rescuers. Many of the eyewitnesses have consented to being recorded (see video). It is up to the Calhoun County Commission and the local Sheriff Department to stop this abuse, charge those who perpetrated this abuse, and ensure that it will not happen in this shelter again. It is up to the citizens of Alabama to make their disgust known and to force the Commission to follow through with changing this facility. Is this where you want your taxes going Alabama?

Do not support these monsters through silence. Contact the Calhoun County Commission and voice your concerns.

Commission District 1--Commissioner James "Pappy" Dunn

Commission District 2--Commissioner Tim Hodges

Commission District 3--Commissioner Eli Henderson

Commission District 4--Commissioner John "JD" Hess

Commission District 5--Commissioner Rudy Abbott

Calhoun County Commission
1702 Noble Street
Suite 103
Anniston, AL 36201
Phone: (256) 241-2800

Also contact Sheriff Larry Amerson at 256-236-6600 or send an email to Chief Deputy Wade at


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