Anderson County Hires New Director of Animal Care and Control

Anderson County has hired a new director for its Animal Care and Control Department who has extensive animal care experience in eastern Tennessee, starting a new chapter for the facility that has been at the center of controversy for much of the past year.

Damon McKenna, who started on Thursday, has more than a quarter century of experience, including serving as the adoption coordinator at the Young Williams Animal Center in Knoxville for six years. Previously, he was assistant director at the Humane Society of the Tennessee Valley and worked as a veterinary technician in Tennessee and Alaska.

“I am very pleased to have Damon join our team,” Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank said in the press release. .”

Previous cover:East Tennessee animal shelter director retires after months of tension over euthanasia

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McKenna’s hiring comes after months of tension and questions about how former manager Brian Porter ran the shelter. Accusations made on social media and at county commission meetings prompted the commission to take a closer look at the shelter’s operations.

Porter retired in July and told Knox News in a statement that the charges against him “played a significant role” in his decision.

A human resources investigation was opened to handle the matter and the report was submitted to Frank. The findings have not been made public.

The county has formed a shelter advisory committee to address concerns about shelter operations and hopes to meet with the new director to discuss next steps, District 1 Commissioner Tracy Wandell said.

Frank noted “McKenna’s experience in public outreach and education. I look forward to working with him to advance our animal care and control program in Anderson County” .

The next step is for the county to hire a veterinary director.

Benjamin M. Yerger