HUMBOLDT, Tenn.– Animal rescue groups descended on the Humboldt Animal Shelter Friday morning after a social media post from a former employee claimed all the dogs in the shelter were going to be euthanized.
Riley Ferrell, who works at the Brownsville/Haywood County Animal Shelter, said what led to the shelter being emptied out so quickly was a comment from former Animal Contol Officer Sarah Ashley Russell after she was fired from her position Thursday.
“She said that the animals were going to be euthanized because she was no longer there to look after them and once falling into the City of Humboldt’s hands they would surely euthanize them,” Ferrell said.
Ferrell said she took to social media to alert rescue groups after the mayor issued an 8 a.m. deadline for rescue groups to claim dogs.
“That post got out there after I made it after the previous Animal Control Officer of the Humboldt Animal Shelter told me that’s what was going to happen in the event of her being fired,” she said.
The mayor, who was not available to talk, never indicated the dogs would be euthanized. We were told the shelter is a “no kill” shelter and only vicious dogs are euthanized.
Sarah Ashley Russell posted her reaction on her Facebook page after she was terminated, saying:
“LOL you got what you wanted. You know the outcome now. I hope every one of you have the day that you deserve and I hope tonight when you try to sleep that you think about what you did to all these dogs down here.”
Ferrell said conditions at the Humboldt shelter were deplorable and is glad rescue groups moved quickly to help.
“I’m glad that some helped the animals at the shelter after it fell to neglect,” she said. “They each pulled several dogs and took them into their rescue. A lot of those dogs are receiving medical care and just the attention they’ve needed all along.”
Russell declined an interview, she said, on the advice of her attorney. We’re told the Humboldt shelter has 13 or 14 kennels but was overcrowded when Friday’s rescues took place.
There’s no word on who will replace Russell.