6 On Your Side: Whistleblowers Expose Questionable Practices at - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

6 On Your Side: Whistleblowers Expose Questionable Practices at Humane Society

WICHITA FALLS, TX - The credibility of a local humane society is in question after a controversial pet adoption. Two whistleblowers are coming forward, talking only to Newschannel 6, claiming the Humane Society of Wichita County gave away a pit bull to a hog hunter. Also, they say it's not the first time.  

It's no question the Humane Society of Wichita County has helped thousands of pets find good homes, but the adoption procedure for 4-year- old Pickles seems to be sparking outrage on social media. 

"We did our best to try and save his life," Director of the Humane Society of Wichita County Cheryl Miller said. "We thought we were doing a good thing."

Miller says her only goal was to find Pickles, a pocket pit bull, a good home.

"An ex-employee, he was working here at the time, came up to me and said, 'I have a friend who wants a truck dog. Some one just to ride around in the truck with him while he works,'" Miller said. "We talked about it for a while. I questioned him on it. He assured me that it was going to be a truck dog."

Former employees tell Newschannel 6 a different story. Loren Simmons worked at the humane society from August 20, 2014 to September 15, 2014. Simmons says Miller knew Pickles was going to a hog hunting facility in Burkburnett. 

"His name was written on the board as adopted," Simmons said. "I asked and Cheryl Miller said he was sent to be a hog dog. I questioned--isn't he a small dog? Won't he get hurt? She said 'no.'"

Unfortunately, Simmons says this isn't the first time a pit bull has been given "under the table" to be used for hog hunting.

"It's a numbers game for her," Simmons said. "If you have to euthanize six pit bulls, then that's going to be six euthanizations on her record. That's going to look pretty poor." 

Another former employee, Kimber Hopkins, says she heard of several other pocket pit bulls who all went missing while she worked there. She believes the dogs might have went to the same facility Pickles ended up at. 

"We have to be a voice for those animals that mysteriously disappear to be given away possibly as hog dogs to have a horrible fate," Hopkins said. 

Miller said she no longer had Pickles' adoption papers, but she insists she knew nothing about a hog hunting facility. 

"Since the man that adopted him was out on the road in his truck, he couldn't come and talk to us," Miller said. "We talked to him over the phone. We did the adoption over the phone. There was never any mention of hog hunting. He said he was going to be in his truck and we took his word for it. "

But doing the adoption over the phone left many to wonder about the legitimacy of Pickles' adoption. 

"I think that's a bogus thing, because that's not how it's done," Hopkins said. "For a director to say 'Oh we are just going to not use protocol for this instance' then it's really fishy."

Miller says she's definitely learned a thing or two about Pickles' adoption and how she handled it. 

"My trust level has gone down quite a bit in people," Miller said. 

Others are hoping for change within how the humane society operates. 

"I think every single animal should be accounted for and the truth be told for every single animal," Simmons said. 

"I'm not someone who's a disgruntled employee," Hopkins said. "I'm somebody who cares about the animals. That's my perspective. I've got to be their voice."

Simmons and Hopkins have each written statements to the Board of Directors at the Humane Society of Wichita County, outlining the problems and unethical behavior they experienced while working at the humane society. Both letters have gone unanswered by the board.

Several people voiced their opinion about Pickles on Facebook. Newschannel 6 reached out to them and none of them would comment or go in front of our cameras.

Pickles is now with a foster family. He is safe and he's being taken care of.

Kaylee Pfeiferling, Newschannel 6.


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