Star reporter Laura Johnson’s story concerning the animal cruelty probe of the Calhoun County Animal Control Center was misleading. It stated, “An investigation into the allegations yielded no criminal charges…” She made reference to “no criminal charges” three other times in this article.
This case was investigated and turned over to the Calhoun County District Attorney’s Office, and, as I understand, it is still pending, as is the complaint filed with the Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners. Sheriff Larry Amerson assured me that these references to “no criminal charges” did not originate in his office, so the source of these claims is puzzling.
The Star should abide by its own advice, “Test the accuracy of information from all sources and exercise care to avoid inadvertent error. Deliberate distortion is never permissible.” Whether or not cruelty charges are filed, it is commendable that the Calhoun County Commission followed the advice of the Sheriff’s Department and established this oversight board. Commission members and this board should be knowledgeable of the Veterinary Practices Act, humane shelter standards and criminal laws regarding animal cruelty. They should be diligent in making unannounced shelter visits in the future, so recent improvements will be maintained and this issue will not slowly fade away.
The original allegations were not the emotional rants of the few. We spoke for the residents of our county and for the animals who cannot speak for themselves.