Franklin County Dog Shelter Director Suspended


UPDATED: Wednesday April 16, 2014 12:33 AM

The head of the Franklin County dog shelter is on administrative leave while operations at the shelter are investigated.

Joe Rock was told Monday he is not allowed on Franklin County property at this time.

Statements from employees allege mistreatment of animals, dogs being euthanized when they shouldn't have been and employees treated rudely.

One man told 10TV he had a personal run in with Rock.

Sika was Brett Bertram's fifth dog and his last add. 

He loves her, but as he tells it, she shouldn't have been.

"I was left hanging with the dog," said Bertram.

Bertram was working for a dog rescue and says he was asked by the wife of Joe Rock to help get a dog out of a bad home and to a foster.  Once he got the dog, she said the foster fell through. 

For weeks, Bertram says he tried to tell her he couldn't keep Sika.

"She quit answering my texts, she quit answering my calls and she wouldn't return my calls,"  said Bertram.

Bertram posted what happened on the county shelter's advocate page.  

Rock contacted him personally on Facebook and a heated exchange on both sides ensued.

"The next day he puts our instant private messages on his Facebook page with my phone number,"  said Bertram.

Bertram said he felt threatened and thinks Rock crossed a line. 

Just like employees think certain practices at the county shelter did under Rock's management. 

Several written statements show employees complained about the veterinarian's treatment of animals, saying he was far too rough and repeatedly claimed dogs failed behavior tests and euthanized them when they hadn't. 

Also, many employees claimed harassment by superiors. 

The county won't cite the complaints as the reason Rock is on leave, only saying because a new county administrator took over animal care, a formal review of the shelter is being done.

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