Animal cruelty case against Long Beach women to proceed in Tennessee
Fayette County General Sessions Judge Mike Whitaker ruled Monday that prosecutors had enough evidence against Sheehan and King-McCracken and could present their case to the county’s grand jury. No date has been set, court officials said.
The two women were arrested and jailed Jan. 17 after a state trooper stopped the U-haul truck they were driving in Fayette County. The officer discovered more than 100 dogs and one cat inside the truck and the minivan that was being towed behind.
Some of the dogs were in cages while others were loose, the trooper said in an affidavit obtained by The Times. One dog was dead.
The women were charged with one count each of felony animal cruelty. They are free on bail, according to media reports.
The American Humane Assn. said it has placed the dogs in shelters across the country. At least four were taken in by Fayette County Animal Rescue. One of those dogs has since been adopted.
The case has put Sheehan’s reputation for kindness to animals at odds with the scene in Tennessee.
Those who support her have questioned whether Long Beach authorities bore some of the blame. At least one of her volunteers, Jay Williams, has publicly stated that a Long Beach animal control officer had visited Sheehan twice on Jan. 15 as she and two volunteers were loading dog crates into the U-Haul for the journey to Roanoke, Va., where she planned to move her operations. She had planned an adoption fair there that weekend too.
Long Beach officials have acknowledged that police and animal control officers had responded to the facility.
An investigation into the incident has been launched, but its status is unknown. The city has not responded to a Times inquiry about it.
-- Ruben Vives
Photos: Bonnie Sheehan, left, and Pamela A. King-McCracken. Credit: WDBJ7.com