Lauderdale County shelter where puppy was found in freezer will re-open

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 RIPLEY, Tenn. -- The Shelter Board Committee for the Lauderdale County Animal Shelter decided to re-open the facility, even though it is under investigation.

The shelter has been closed three days.

The District Attorney and Lauderdale County Sheriff's Office are investigating a puppy that was found alive in a freezer.

One of four part-time employees was suspended pending the investigation.

"I propose that we have a camera system," said Mayor Maurice Gaines.

The committee voted unanimously to send that idea to County Commissioners.

They also voted to re-open the shelter Friday.

It will be open from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.

Also from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday.

"We had a couple of issues at hand that are under investigation, and therefore, we are not allowed to speak of those today," Gaines said.

Debbie Flowers with Ripley Animal Rescue attended the meeting.

She was the one that found the puppy in the freezer.

Gaines recently came to the shelter to take pictures of puppies to help them get adopted.

She heard several puppies had been euthanized.

She went to check the freezer.

"I just stared for a minute and saw the pulse again, and I just said, 'You got to be kidding,'" Flowers said.

The puppy in question was not one of the puppies she came to check on.

She said she was shocked.

The committee members would not say anything, due to the investigation.

"I doubt seriously if we'll ever get any answers," said pet lover Peggy Haynie.

"I just want to find the outcome of the investigation," said Jimmy Patterson with Helping Every Animal Rescue Team (HEART).

The District Attorney told WREG he could not comment.

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