Thursday, March 11, 2010

Terra Cotromano, TEARS - Mulga, Alabama

Mar 11, 2010: TEARS founder arrested and charged with animal cruelty

By Carol Robinson

The founder of TEARS was arrested this morning on multiple counts of animal cruelty, authorities said.

Terra Cotromano, 61, was being taken to the Jefferson County Jail, said Jefferson County Chief Deputy Randy Christian.

Cotromano founder of The Emergency Animal Rescue Service, is charged with 20 counts of cruelty to a dog or cat. Her bond is set at $1,000 for each charge.

She was arrested at the TEARS animal rescue site in Mulga.

Sheriff's officials in January seized 22 dogs and six cats after a month-long animal cruelty investigation.

Prior to the seizure of the animals, members of the TEARS board of directors fired Cotromano as executive director and filed a civil suit alleging she mistreated animals and mishandled funds..." More

photo: The Birmingham News / Jeff Roberts

Dec 31, 2009: Birmingham animal rescue agency director denies allegations of cruelty

By Erin Stock

The founder of
TEARS today denied accusations that she had neglected the animals in her care and mismanaged money as the nonprofit organization's executive director.

Terra Cotromano said the real issue behind the accusations and her firing Wednesday is a power struggle.

The board of directors for The Emergency Animal Rescue Service on Wednesday asked for and was granted a temporary restraining order against Cotromano. Board members handed her a termination letter the same day.

Today, animal rescue authorities are inspecting the animals at TEARS. Cotromano said that in the meantime neither she nor her employees are being allowed to care for and feed the animals.

"I'm crushed," she said. "To watch these animals be pushed aside and their well-being disregarded just so two people can squabble over power is unconscionable."

John Saxon, a lawyer for the TEARS board, said the animals are being cared for and fed.

Cotromano claims the two board members who fired her were voted out at a meeting of TEARS members on Wednesday night. But Saxon argued TEARS is not a membership organization. It's an issue that needs to be brought before a judge, Cotromano said..."