Police: Shelter animals neglected for days

Published: .
Updated: .

Police say three animals found dead in a Lawrence shelter were among several neglected in the facility for days.

Lawrence Police wouldn't let Eyewitness News cameras inside the city's animal shelter Wednesday to see the conditions inside.

Officials did admit that they had just fired a long-time employee of the shelter, who they say left the animals trapped in their cages for days without food or water.

Police discovered what was going on at the shelter during an investigation of vandalism Tuesday night, an act which left several windows broken.

When officers got inside, they found two dead dogs and a cat.

"As a human who has two dogs of his own, who loves them like they're his children, I can tell you I was sickened by it," said Lawrence police chief Michael Walton.

According to Walton, the shelter employee was the facility's only full-time staff, but said he could ask for help from Lawrence police as needed.

While the shelter is located next to the city's Department of Public Works and Water Department, the chief had no answers as to how the animals went neglected without anyone noticing a problem.

"If we'd have noticed, we would have done something," Walton said.

"We are going to evaluate the system completely and do what's necessary to ensure this never happens again."

A state veterinarian will check out the dogs that survived. Those animals could be up for adoption by next week.

An employee from another city department has been transferred to the animal shelter to take over.