Off-duty deputy beating dog is latest controversy for area animal shelter

- This pitt bull named Rock had been at the Montgomery County Animal Shelter for about three months and was a staff favorite.

Three female volunteers put Rock and two other dogs in this fenced in area.

“Deputy Berger was there with his family and they were looking to get a little cocker spaniel,” said the deputy’s attorney Stephen Jackson.

Jackson says his client witnessed the three dogs fighting.

“You have young, between 30 all the way down to a teenager females in the cage poking a dog with a stick,” Jackson said.

Jackson says Berger feared for the safety of the female volunteers so he picked up a two by four and struck Rock with it.

“This dog did not die from what Deputy Berger did,” said Jackson.

Rock was euthanized.

“Based on the conditions that were described received humane euthanasia,” said Dr. Todd Hayden director of the Montgomery County Animal Shelter.

“I think there were not enough volunteers or staff members present to prevent an incident like this from occurring,” said shelter volunteer Paulette Fisher.

Hayden has only been the shelter’s director for a few weeks. He’s fired more than half a dozen employees.

“And they were long term very experienced staff members,” Fisher said.

“People said they wouldn’t follow the new rules, they failed drug tests or whatever happened there was a lot of reasons people had to go,” Hayden said. “And they had to go.”

The incident with Rock and photos of dirty kennels have created a firestorm on social media.

“We want to make this one of the premier animal shelters are we there right now no but we’re certainly not in the deplorable conditions that have been portrayed on social media,” said Montgomery County Commissioner Jim Clark.    

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