Animal Shelters Taking in Displaced Animals from Controversial Sharp County Kennel

FEBRUARY 1, 2005 - Posted at 7:53 a.m. CST, updated at 8:46 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Area animal shelters are working to find homes for cats and dogs who were kept at a kennel near Williford, in Sharp County, which has since been closed.

The process of saving nearly 300 animals from Martin Creek Kennels is underway.  The group Last Chance for Animals spent the better part of a decade collecting 72 hours of video at the Williford kennel and turned the evidence over to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  The USDA settled a complaint against kennel owner C.C. Baird last week that calls for the kennel's closure.  Baird and members of his family have agreed to pay nearly $263,000 in fines.  The Bairds also gave up their animal breeding and sales licenses.

Last Chance for Animals held a news conference yesterday in Little Rock in which the organization's officials discussed the situation and showed video from the Williford kennel.  The video showed Baird and other kennel workers shooting dogs, digging trenches and throwing corpses into piles.  It also captured Baird's associates describing how they stole pets from homes and then sold them to animal research labs.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)