CHESTER COUNTY, SC (FOX 46 WJZY) - A civil suit was recently filed against Chester County Animal Care and Control in an effort to bring in new management for the facility.
The sheriff's department currently operates the center.
The plaintiffs in the case are six former volunteers of the animal shelter.
Jackie Kyles, a plaintiff, told FOX 46 Charlotte they're taking facility workers to court because they feel the animal shelter is being mismanaged. Kyles and former volunteers claim to have witnessed things they describe as alarming. Including facility conditions, the way the facility is cleaned and the judgment/understanding of workers responding to animal-related calls.
The plaintiffs told FOX 46 Charlotte they were let go in June of 2017. Although they were never given a reason why, Kyles said it came after several complaints were made by them regarding operations at the facility.
"When we see something that is not right, it's our right to speak out against those wrongdoings or things that are not right with the animal care or the way they handle the animals," Kyles said.
One recent example Kyles referred to regarding the judgment of staff was a recent case in Chester where a video was circulating of what appears to be a dog sitting in a flooded backyard. When Fox 46 Charlotte investigated, animal control workers said they couldn't take the dog because it didn't appear to be malnourished. Kyles, who is the President of Southern Animal Welfare League, said animal control had the legal right to remove the animal.
Kyles said the group isn't taking the case to court for money, it's to switch out the management. The plaintiffs and their lawyers are arguing there's no law on the books in the county or state of South Carolina that requires the sheriffs department to operate the facility. Operating on that logic, they are arguing the department has no legal authority to run the facility.
Kyles wants an independent company to come in and run the facility or to have the county manager oversee the day-to-day operations with the help of contracted animal care workers.
Fox 46 Charlotte reached out to county officials. The County Supervisor did respond to let us know they cannot comment on pending litigation.