Williamson County Animal Shelter board member fired

Williamson County Animal Shelter board member fired (Image 1)

A board member has been fired after a dog seized by the Williamson County Animal Control escaped. 

The incident is just the latest in the animal abuse case concerning nearly 200 animals that were placed in animal control custody earlier this summer.

Officers executed a search warrant at the bucolic College Grove home of Jerry Hendrixson on June 13.

The agency seized hundreds of dogs, cats, fowl and rabbits.

The case is currently in the court and the animals still being fed and treated at the Williamson County Animal Shelter at great expense to taxpayers until the final disposition of the court case.

Thursday, Doug Brightwell, the shelter's director, confirmed one of the dogs seized escaped about a week ago and is still missing.

He says the person responsible was disciplined.

He would not confirm nor deny reports that Jim Sherrill, a shelter volunteer who also served on the board, was fired.

In July, Sherrill came forward and reported what he said were inhumane conditions at the shelter.

He told Nashville's News 2 the seizure earlier in the summer put so much pressure on the facility others animals were suffering.

Photos given to Nashville's News 2 Investigates from the shelter insider showed dogs in cramped cages filled with animal feces.

Brightwell agreed the seizure put more pressure on the shelter but not to the point that animals were suffering.

“I would disagree with that whole heartedly, our animals are provided with some of the best vet care anywhere, and we provide clean environment through out the day, and as soon as we get here in the morning everything is thoroughly cleaned,” he said.

On Thursday, Sherrill sent the following letter to Nashville's News 2's Andy Cordan:

The Williamson Animal Services (WAS) board that I serve on and that supports the [Williamson County Animal Control] was very upset with my interview on [News 2].   They said they were more concerned with the negative publicity that I caused to WCAC's public image than that of the dogs in poor conditions.  They voted to remove me from the board.  All but the president voted in favor to have me removed effective immediately.  While I knew this was a possibility of occurring, I do not regret coming forward and speaking up for the voiceless…. the animals.  It truly saddens me that the WAS board is more concerned with public image than what goes on behind the doors of WCAC.  The animals deserve better.

PS – Director Brightwell serves on this board and did vote to remove me.  Director Brightwell reports to Mayor Rogers Anderson.  I do feel this is retaliation from the news story.  If you speak negatively about a government facility, you are silenced… in this case removed.

Jerry Hendrixson, along with his wife Helen, their daughter, Michelle Plunkett, and son-in-law, Jason Plunkett, were indicted by a grand jury and face multiple counts of animal cruelty.

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