Brinkley city employee fired after dog is found malnourished


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    The only employee of the city of Brinkley's dog pound was fired Monday after a dog was found malnourished and more than 30 pounds underweight.

    Lucy is a White German Shepherd that was taken to the Brinkley shelter in June because of the floods. A dog rescuer received Lucy on Friday and reports that she was sick, thin, and malnourished.

    Mayor Billy Hankins said he acted as quick as possible after being shown pictures of Lucy. Hankins said the dog was sent to the veterinarian to be checked out immediately after he found out.

    "In no circumstance would I ever do this to an animal, no way. If I had of known about the condition of this dog before the 16th of October, there would have been immediate action," Hankins said.

    The mayor said he knows the city has a big problem on its hands. Hankins said it will take time to replace the terminated employee.

    "I ask everyone to bear with us so we can get our dog pound to where it needs to be so we can feel comfortable with it," Hankins said.

    City Attorney Ralph Clifton said the city will conduct an investigation. "Since my office has been aware of the problem, I've asked the police department to conduct an investigation to find out what happened from a criminal stand point," Clifton said.

    According to the dog rescuer's attorney, Clint Lancaster, the investigation is not good enough for her.

    "My client has given me a recording which I am not authorized to release which tends to indicate that the mayor knew this was going on for quiet sometime," Lancaster said.

    Volunteers said they were locked out and not able to see the dogs to check on their well being. Jamie Newberry is one of the two people that volunteer at the shelter.

    Newberry said, "I haven't been to the shelter in a month because we just can't get in there, we couldn't get in there it was either closed of he wasn't there, we just couldn't get in there ."

    According to the mayor, the city has tried to do what they can to minimize the amount of dogs that are killed. Hankins said the current ordinance the city follows is more harsh than what the city has been practicing.

    "Once we pick a dog up and impound him, after 5 days if the dog has not been claimed by the owner then we take charge in a humane matter. As far as disposing of the dog, that would be euthanized," Hankins said." I might say there has been 50 dogs, at least the report I'm getting, we have saved their lives by not sticking with this ordinance."

    The Mayor said he has met with the current shelter volunteers to begin planning the changes that need to happen.

    "We're looking at even painting it, trying to brighten it up, anything that is necessary to make this where we feel like the dogs are safe ," Hankins said. "Our plans right now is to start teaming up with Martha and Jamie and their suggestions since they are more familiar with the adoption and rescue programs."

    An outside rescue group came to get the rest of the dogs from the shelter Tuesday. The mayor said no more dogs will be taken to the shelter until the current problems are fixed.

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