Claims of abuse and neglect at Lawrence County Animal Shelter

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MOULTON, Ala. (WHNT) - A volunteer at the Lawrence County Animal Shelter contacted us with video he says shows the shelter's director beating a dog. That volunteer spoke with WHNT News 19 about the video and other pictures he took.

Caleb Scott says he volunteered at the animal shelter to help a friend, who is also a volunteer at the facility. But he says two days was all he could take.

"And Miss Bobbie is starting to pound the dog in the head again with her fist," Scott told WHNT News 19, recounting what he says he witnessed at the facility.

Taylor told The Moulton Advertiser, "I was not beating an innocent animal, I was breaking up a dog fight... I would never beat an innocent animal." She also told the paper that animals are not kept in small cages permanently, only when they are first brought into the shelter's intake room.

Taylor also said that animals are not kept in small cages permanently, only when they are first brought into the shelter's intake room.

Bobbie Taylor operates the shelter at her home. She is under contract with the Lawrence County Commission to operate the shelter and employ an animal control officer. Scott says after witnessing the first beating, he got his cell phone and secretly recorded the next beating the animal took.

Scott provided us with additional images from the shelter showing dogs lying in their own waste, and at least one emaciated dog lying in a pen too small for it to turn around in. Scott claims several of the animals are obviously sick and in need of care.

"Sick animals, they can't even get up to walk, just laying there, laying there in their own waste," Scott says.

Scott says he went to Moulton Police with his concerns. Police Chief Lyndon McWhorter confirms the matter is under investigation. We also reached out to Lawrence County Commissioner Bobby Burch. He says he has not yet seen the complaint and wouldn't be able to comment but points out he and Commissioner Joey Hargrove strenuously opposed the county's agreement with Taylor.

The Lawrence County Commission is calling an emergency meeting Friday at 3 p.m. to discuss the situation.

Thursday, protesters gathered outside the shelter with signs to show their displeasure about the conditions the animals are allegedly in.

Efforts to reach Taylor Wednesday evening were unsuccessful, but she contacted WHNT News 19 Thursday after seeing our story. We're working with her right now to let her tell her side of the story.

Taylor is well known throughout Lawrence County as a long time supporter of animal rights issues. She is an outspoken advocate for no-kill animal shelters. Taylor is paid $80,000 a year to operate Lawrence County's shelter and employ an animal control officer.

We'll be watching this story closely to see what develops.