MOULTON, Ala. (WHNT) - The Lawrence County Commission voted Friday to pull its contract with Bobbie Taylor. The vote was 3 to 2. In February, Taylor was awarded an $80,000 annual contract to provide and operate an animal shelter, plus provide an Animal Control Officer for the county.
Commissioner Bobby Burch introduced the resolution to rescind the contract saying the pictures and video WHNT News 19 aired Wednesday night demonstrated something needed to be done. Commissioners say they plan to go back to transporting strays to a Morgan County shelter. Meanwhile, WHNT News 19 received several reports Friday that animals were being removed from the shelter. One person provided images of trucks blocking entrance to the property Friday afternoon.
"I seen 'em moving, I mean the movement of dogs. I don't know where they're going or where they're taking them but they were fast moving them," according to Rose Ann Smallwood, who told WHNT News 19 she had witnessed animals being removed from the shelter Friday. We spoke to Taylor prior to Friday afternoon's commission meeting. She denied that any animals were being removed from the property. Taylor's contract with the county ends July 1st.
WHNT News 19 first broke this story Wednesday night and have been following the allegations of abuse and neglect closely this week. We spoke with one woman who says she made an amazing discovery at the shelter after seeing our first Taking Action story.
Ashley Kerby says her dog, Addy, disappeared from her brother's house more than a year ago.
"We searched for months, driving around, knocking on people's doors and never did see her," Kerby explained.
She says she had given up ever seeing Addy again until Wednesday night. That story contained heartbreaking images of an emaciated dog lying on the floor of a very small cage. Ashley recognized Addy by the distinctive curl in her tail. She went to the shelter the next morning and she says Director Bobbie Taylor told her her dog wasn't there.
"I had talked to one of her workers that was going to show me where the dog was, but she had moved her, we couldn't find her anywhere. So finally she shows up and she had her in the back of the shed with another dog cage in front of her turned around in one of the plastic cages where you couldn't really see in. And so we couldn't even find her she had her so back in there," Kerby said. "Yeah, pretty much hidden because of the news story."
"The reason that Addy's case is so important is because we actually have photographic evidence from 3 months ago where she was in the shelter and she was healthy and she was active and she was happy and she was excited to see people and it's so different than the pictures that we saw this week of her sick to the point of near death," says animal rights advocate Jennifer Larder.
We understand Addy has several serious infections, including one that produced a symptom like lock jaw. She's staying at the vet for a few days. We hope to know more about her prognosis sometime next week.
If you feel as though one of your missing dogs could be in the shelter, you should call Moulton Police. They will take down your information and compare it to the animals being removed from the shelter. The phone number to Moulton Police is (256) 974-3961.