Protest Held In Manchester By Animal Rights Activists

Protesters show off signs on Friday... Photo by Barry West

Outside Animal Control in Manchester... By Barry West

Animal rights activists from Coffee and surrounding counties were in Manchester on Friday to protest. The group first protested in the lane that leads into the Coffee County Animal Control building, and then moved to the Coffee County Administrative Plaza.
Vera Lund, a Manchester resident, told WMSR Radio that she did NOT blame the animal control officer that shot and killed Bryan Pennington’s dog, Toby, on Monday. She says the problem is not enough funding and needed policy changes. Lund added that animal control officers should be better trained and facilities needed upgrading.
Funding to animal control in Coffee County for 2011-2012 was $97,916, and they are asking for $102,067 in the upcoming budget.
The story began when Bryan Pennington said his black 16-year-old Labrador retriever, “Toby,” was picked up by Coffee County Animal Control Monday afternoon and was apparently shot in the head by a control officer.
Pennington told us that his dog had arthritis in his legs and was blind in one eye.
The animal control officer, Charlie Brown, who shot and killed the dog, has said in media reports that he thought the dog had been hit by a car, and did what he thought was best for the dog. Brown says he feels sorry for the family.
Pennington told WMSR News that he does not want to see Brown lose his job. His hope is that the Coffee County Animal Control will reconsider the way they euthanize animals by not shooting them.
A meeting of the Health and Welfare committee has been called for today (Monday June, 18 2012) at the Coffee County Administrative Plaza. The Animal Control department reports to Health and Welfare.
Coffee County Mayor David Pennington has stated he will remove himself from any decisions to avoid any conflicts of interest. Bryan Pennington is Mayor Pennington’s son.