Local animal advocates have reacted to the news of the no bill for two former employees of Amarillo Animal Control with outrage and disbelief.
??I was sick. I was flabbergasted, taken aback,?? said Lorri Page, a local pet groomer. ??I think it was very unjust. I think that more needs to be done.??
She said she believed the Grand Jury did not do its job properly and that this sort of problem was happening too often.
??I think if they would have spoken to the people that came out and blew the whistle, and they had watched the video that I had seen, it would have been very obvious that dogs were suffering,?? said Page.
The Amarillo Panhandle Humane Society, who works closely with Animal Control and shares a facility with them said they respected the decision and believe the jury looked at the evidence and did what they thought was best. President of the Humane Society, Carry Baker, said she respected the Grand Jury process and the fact that the individuals within Randall County looked at the evidence thoroughly.
??I would like to see nothing but positive come from all of this. I know this has been controversial, it??s been ugly at times, but the truth of the matter is, I think it has brought much needed attention to a problem that we had in the city,?? said Baker. ??I think the city has acted responsibly about this at this point and time. Some very good changes have been implemented.??
She said that going forward, she hopes the relationship between Animal Control and the Humane Society since it was previously strained prior to this new management.
??We had difficulties between the management and animal control and between our staff,?? said Baker. ??This whole situation has obviously created some strain between our organization and city officials, but I really hope that that??s all behind us. And it really appears to me that it is.??
Judy Glidewell, who owns Critter Camp, said she is not satisfied with this decision.
??Mike McGee (former Animal Control Director) retired one week, Shannon Barlow (Asst. Director) retires the next and then the next day they no bill them. I mean it??s kind of like it was all a deal under the table. Like you retire and we won't file charges,?? said Glidewell.
However, after the decision was announced last night, Randall County DA, James Farren, assured residents that all the sources and information had been investigated and that no such deal had been made.
The City of Amarillo said in their press release that they will conduct an internal management review to determine if there were any noncriminal violations of policies or procedures to further assist in improving shelter operations.