Shelter woes blamed on county commissioners’ refusal to listen


HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Animal advocates are outraged following our report of two highly-questionable dog deaths at the Hillsborough County Resource Center.

“It is outrageous, it’s disgusting,” Ann Malone said.

“It just makes me want to shake some commissioners by the shoulders because that’s where it starts and that’s where it stops and they’re not doing anything about it,” said Lisa Walker-Hutches, former chair of the Hillsborough County’s Animal Advisory Committee.  


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Walker-Hutches is blaming county commissioners for the shelter’s continuous issues, including Les Miller who appointed her to the AAC.

“It just became very obvious that there was no interest to really hear what was going on truly at the PRC at the time,” Walker-Hutches explained.

The animal advocate says she’s heard stories that are just as appalling as the death of Clyde, who ate a blanket at the shelter and had to wait six days to be examined after his intestines perforated.

“This dog suffered in a cage for six days and then it was ultimately euthanized,” said Lithia veterinarian Dr. Ellen Alence.

There’s also the story of Lola, a 10-year-old lab who bled to death in her kennel after she was spayed at the PRC.

“No matter what angle any of us chose to take to try to help the animals of Hillsborough County, the commissioners weren’t listening,” Lisa added. 

Walker-Hutches served on the AAC for eight years but walked away in 2017 before her term ended. 

“I stepped away about two or three months early because it was just too emotionally draining to see what was happening, to hear what was happening, and to know that our county was going to make the decision to do absolutely nothing about it,” she said. 

But despite her reports, discussions with commissioners, appearances before the board and recommendations by the Animal Advisory Committee, Walker-Hutches says commissioners did what they wanted to do.

She believes the committee is for show, to make the county look good. 

Walker-Hutches also thinks it’s time to clean house, not only at the PRC, but also on the county commission.

If you know of something that you think should be investigated, call our 8 On Your Side Helpline at 1-800-338-0808.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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