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Residents Allege Local Animal Shelter Not Giving Animals Basic Care

Some people who've been inside the Pine Bluff Animal Shelter claim employees are not giving dogs and cats the proper care they need. They sent FOX 16 pictures to prove it. We took their concerns to city officials.
PINE BLUFF, AR- A group of concerned citizens who've been inside the Pine Bluff Animal Shelter say some dogs and cats are without food, water, and lack basic care. They sent pictures to FOX 16 which show dogs and cats living in stacked cages, cages covered in filth, some with no food or water. The people who sent the photos claim they were taken behind the animal shelter where some of the animals are caged.

"Can you confirm if these pictures were taken from here?" asked FOX 16's Susanne Brunner.

"No I cannot," responded Lt. David Price, Pine Bluff Police Department.

Pine Bluff Police wouldn't let FOX 16 go behind the shelter where the photos were allegedly taken. As a matter of fact, our cameras were not allowed inside the shelter at all. We were able to go inside the adoption center without a camera, but when we asked to go out back, police said no because that's where they held dangerous animals.  While Lieutenant David Price couldn't confirm the photos, he said the police department took over the animal shelter two weeks ago since the facility did not have any oversight.

"Since we have taken over, we make sure that all animals have been properly taken care of making sure the pens are clean, that they're receiving the proper nourishment and veterinary care," said Lt. Price.

FOX 16 also asked what kind of conditions the animals and facility were in before and after the police department took over.

"To the best of my knowledge, whenever we start taking over, we immediately put procedures in place to clean pens and things like that. I can't tell you what the state of the facilities was," said Lt. Price.

Mayor Debe Hollingsworth wouldn't go on camera, but said on the phone the city has received legitimate complaints, but didn't specify those complaints. Mayor Hollingsworth did say they are addressing those complaints and have a strategic plan in place.

"We have a ranked structure, we put rules in place, we'll give them the training they need. We'll make sure all the assets they need and resources are there so they can do their job," said Lt. Price.

The strategic plan would also include training, such as animal and facility care. Police said employees will be trained on Thursday.

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