Pet Company manager takes the stand - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Pet Company manager takes the stand

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By Callie Starnes

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - It's still unclear what the future holds for dozens of animals removed from a Chattanooga pet store.

The Pet Company at Hamilton Place returned to court Tuesday working to punch holes in the credibility of the agency that raided their store.

Attorney: You never provided a written warning about the crates you claim could trap an animal's foot?

Karen Walsh, McKamey Animal Shelter Executive Director: No, it was just discussion and education.

Attorney: But you never gave them a written warning?

Attorney: No.

McKamey's attorney quickly fired back, noting written warnings are not required by law.

Attorney: Do you see the words ‘written warning' in there?

Walsh: No.

Attorney: Do you see the words ‘formal warning'?

Walsh: No, we don't usually give formal warnings to anyone.

Attorney Pippenger then questioned McKamey's ability to care for the dozens of animals confiscated from the store.

He prodded Executive Director Karen Walsh about a recent outbreak of kennel cough, and an incident where dogs died in a McKamey transport truck.

Walsh testified about the center's voluntary quarantine and change in policy. "Most of the animals that come into the center aren't pure-bread puppies. They are animals that come in from the community. Sometimes we get people's pets turned in and sometimes we get feral dogs off the streets."

Pippenger went on to question McKamey's volunteer website manager, who linked a petition against The Pet Company to the center's website and posted a request for donations following the raid.

Attorney: Because they took in a lot more dogs? And you were concerned that they had the resources to care for those dogs, right?

Donna Deweese: I knew they needed additional resources, or I thought they needed additional resources to care for them.

Despite The Pet Company's attempt to discredit the agency, Judge Sherry Paty overruled the store's request for dismissal.

It will be up to Judge Paty to decide who's more capable of caring for these animals.

Before resting its case, McKamey called the Hamilton Place operations manager who testified the pet store did not report its broken air conditioner to mall personnel. He added that the pet store is not required to report an outage.

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