Former employee arrested after dead dogs found at Lawrence animal shelter

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

A civilian animal care and control officer has been arrested after dead animals and filthy conditions were reported at the Lawrence Animal Shelter.

Two weeks ago, police discovered two dead dogs, 11 others starving and laying in their own feces.

Fox 59 has also learned Deputy Police Chief, Greg Swingle, who oversees the facility, was demoted. Swingle had not checked the shelter for three weeks.

Several residents voiced their concerns at the city council meeting Monday night.

“These dogs are kept in cages 24-7,” said Cindy Carley, an animal activist. “I want these people to be locked up in a cage for 16 hours overnight and see what it’s like.”

Andy Ross, who was the only employee running the shelter, was fired shortly after the incident. Carley said she had spotted Ross not on site during work hours since August.

Mayor Dean Jessup is crunching the numbers to see if the city can financially keep the shelter open.  The current building’s 20-year-old roof and garage doors need to be repaired. It also needs a new furnace.

Jessup said moving into a new facility is also unlikely.

“All we’re basically doing is running a motel here,” said Jessup. “Quite frankly, we don’t see any future money right now.”

Carley wants all those involved to be held accountable.

“If they’re not going to do that, then we want the shelter closed.”