By Jonquil Newland, Weekend Today Anchor/Reporter - bio | email
RHEA COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -
Rhea County animal activist Richard Orlowske was arrested for the second time Friday for violating a court order. He claims its all a conspiracy and for the first time he's sharing his side of the story.
"I want to say to the sheriff, back the hell off. I've done nothing wrong," Orlowske says.
Six months after deputies raided his Save My Tail shelter, officers were back on the property taking more animals. However, this time Orlowske says they've got it all wrong.
"Those were my personal animals," Karen Freeman says.
Freeman rents the cabin from Orlowske. She knows it used to be a shelter but claims it has been her home the past four months.
"This is no longer a shelter. This is a private residency therefore it being a private residency and I being the renter, I should be allowed to have animals up here and to be fostered," explains Freeman.
However, the court has made it clear, no animals on the property period. On Friday officers arrived to take Freeman's animals, her personal pets and the ones she fosters.
"I asked if he had to take my personal animals. He said yes, all animals were to be seized. I broke down. I was traumatized," Freeman cries.
"If they want to come after me they can come after me, I ain't afraid of them, but when they start going to my friends and giving them a hard time, then I get mad," shouts Orlowske.
Right now the county is holding Freeman's pets. Channel 3 spoke to Detective Mike Owenby with the Rhea County Sheriff's Office. He says he isn't buying Freeman's or Orlowske's stories and says it'll all be proven in court.
Orlowske and Freeman say they will take legal action against the county.