Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Iredell's animal-services manager suspended; investigation underway

Iredell County has placed its animal-services manager, Chris Royal, on paid suspension pending the results of an internal investigation.

The investigation is in response to "some reported issues at Animal Services and Control," Iredell County Human Resources Director Sandra Gregory said this morning.

She said Royal was placed on "investigatory suspension" on March 15. "This, of course, is not an indication of Ms. Royal being guilty of any accusations, but rather to allow the management team to conduct a thorough and unbiased investigation," Gregory said.

Citing personnel, Gregory said that at this time, "information from the investigation is not public record." She said, however, that the county should be completing its investigation this week. "Perhaps after the investigation is completed, there may potentially be information that can be released to the public."


Anonymous said...

Madame Royal operates on another web site with a partner, one Craig Wagoner. If you cross-check the Face Book pages, Chris Barker-Royal, (she likes legalized horse slaughter, by the way) and Craig Wagoner, you will see that they are involved together. Mr. Wagoner is a rodeo bull person. Seems a few years ago they let a number of their bulls out and did not keep track of them. Said bulls were starved to death and those that were returned were malnourished. You can see it all here:


Now, what does one take away from this? In this day and age of instant communication, one would think that someone sending off thousands of dollars of livestock would, in fact, ask for cell phone pics emailed a few times or even once a week. And why was no legal action taken, criminal or civil? Perhaps because it would show that an Animal Control Chief did not do due diligence with her own or animals belonging to someone she was involved with. Love the fact she has to hide behind another name.

She's been a liar and a user. I'm not surprised about this. There is a growing tide in this county against her heavy-handedness. She's thought she could get away with anything. Now her chickens are coming home to roost. I hope she does not get to keep her retirement. And I hope some of her merry band of bad actors go too. There are some good officers there. Like Redmond, she has given the office a bad name.

Anonymous said...

This women belongs in JAIL!!!! She had our dog put down after a false claim was made. We had eye witnesses to the incedent, letters from all our neighbors that knew the dogs sweet nature. We heard she has done this to others and are happy she is finally being stopped. This was our grandchildren's pet. They loved and now miss her very much.

Anonymous said...

Ruh-Roh. Somebody's chickens are coming home to roost. Someone should have stayed in building maintenance where she came from. Ambition always seems to catch up with people, especially when someone is the self-proclaimed "biggest bitch in the county."

Frankly, I am surprised she was not shown the door last year when she did not vaccinate the 30 terrier type dogs she seized for distemper upon intake, per state law, something she admitted on television and cried crocodile tears when 20 of those dogs died. 10 of the dogs survived that went to Lake Norman Animal Rescue who did vaccinate. Some of those 20 had even been adopted and still not vaccinated. She promised to vaccinate after that and I have to wonder if she was doing it.

Then she had the nerve to hold a workshop the next month or so about running a clean, disease free shelter. This is all available if you do a google search.

You'll also see that this is called the worst shelter in the state by the same search. I know, just because it's on the internet doesn't make it so but most rescues won't work with her. I known. I'm one of them.

North Iredell resident in the know said...

Chris Royal will likely be fired or demoted by the County. Her actions are being investigated and the county commissioners and county manager have now been made aware of many complaints against her. A list of those complaints have also been sent to the R & L paper too. Sadly like many people, the authority (or fame, celebrity etc) goes to their head and they cannot be trusted to behave with common sense or decency. Arrogance rules them. In the case of Ms. Royal and county
trust placed in her and her job skills, that has been violated and officials will make sure to correct the problem. You'll see. She has been heard to brag that she and Phil Redmond are "big buddies" and he looks after her. Both reside in the Love Valley area. Craig Wagoner of Lexington, her boyfried, also assisted her with some of the livestock thefts. Animals were trucked to his ranch an hour+ away, sold at auction and they both profited financially from the "confiscation" and "stray" livestock from horses to llamas, cattle and 60 goats. Sooner or later people get caught for their misdeeds. This case is a perfect reminder for all of us to protect your own personal intregrity -- whoever we are. Report fraud and theft when you see it and be part of the solution.Let's clean up Iredell county!

Anonymous said...

Many of the workers at Animal Services have been complaining to county HR officials about the problems but they had to get some hard evidence first to take action. Chris Royal is very slick and covers her tracks well.

Anonymous said...

I am currently fighting a potentially dangerous dog deceleration that Chris Royal made on my dog! My dog has been "quarantined" for over 45 days. The ruling was unjust, my dog did not violate the ordinance to the level Mrs. Royal had exaggerated it to. I'M GLAD THAT THIS IS ALL COMING OUT. She should NOT BE ALLOWED BACK IN HER POSITION! I have heard numerous stories of Chris Royal's bad decision making skills! Everyone should Email the county manager and tell him to keep her away!! We need change. We need someone who will save lives, NOT SOMEONE LAZY GASSING ANIMALS! We need a more positive officer, not a tyrant!

Anonymous said...

Looks like your crazy cat lady had a point Mrs. Gatton. Royal has had her goons going after people she doesn't like for a long time. She made up the rules as she went along. When she was caught in a lie, she covered it up faster than a cat in the kitty litter. She loved nothing better than getting her face on TV. I hope they get her in cuffs doing a perp walk. Put her in the cell next to Redmond and Jenkins.

WTH is wrong with this county? You go up to court and see druggies getting suspended sentences after the umpteenth time they are caught with cocaine because they are in school and turning their lives around. BS. It's because we have thieves and crooks running this county.

I still haven't forgotten what I read in the complaint against Redmond and Jenkins. It was pure porn. If some outside agency doesn't come in and take over this county soon, we all need to quit paying our taxes until they clean up their act.

This woman has horses. I wonder how much of what comes into the shelter is feeding her animals? I see the commission approved her request for an area to seize farm animals.

She picks out people to harass and keeps at them until they either cave or they threaten to sue. She did it to our neighbors who told her they were going to sue. She stopped sending her boys out real fast after that.

She has no idea how many people would vote her out if she was an elected official. It would be a landslide. She has repeatedly violated certain regulations. She knows it and so does the county.

She can't even enforce the law with an even hand. Remember the seizure at Christmas time? Another chance to get face time on tv. She gave some big old sob story about how this woman had such a tragic story and she gave up all but 5 of her dogs that were in horrible conditions. This was in Statesvill and I know someone who knew of the conditions. It was animal cruelty, pure and simple and the person should have been charged. Royal didn't charge her. She even put the dogs up for adoption right away, just 2 days before Christmas, for presents. This is highly unethical and when did she have time to get these animals cleared by a vet or even vaccinated, spayed or neutered? Or did she forget what she promised to do last year?

Less than 400 animals made it out of her shelter alive in a given year.

You do the math. She doesn't give a rat's rear end for the animals. All she cares about is her paycheck and her ambition. She was not qualified for the job and should never have been put there in the first place. Once again, Iredell County gets a black eye and it's helpless animals that get to suffer.

I hope the lady who had to have her dog put down sues her ass.

Regina said...

This lady needs to be removed from her postion. She is their for the power ego and money. She does not follow the law. Citizens of Iredell County needs to demand her removal at once

Anonymous said...

Is any body shocked? I mean really who doesn't know the illegal crap she does. I am not buying that county staff didn't know the things she participates in.

Anonymous said...

We certainly hope this means she is going to be fired. Finally. We've had enough. She sends her people to the doors of good pet owners with all kinds of trumped up charges and in the meantime, it's ok for anyone to have a dog tied up in its own filth for years. It's the southern way. Let the dogs lay and breed under the porch willy-nilly. How many cases of rabies have we had in this county from people letting their animals run wild and unaltered, while she harasses responsible pet owners? She is like PETA on steroids. It's her way or the highway.

Her bosses, Ron Smith and Tracy Jackson ought to take some heat for this too. They ought to be fired or sanctioned as well. They have been brought case after case of her bad behavior and the bad behavior of her officers and they knew the crap they were pulling but everyone but her and her people were all liars.

This county is going to hell in a handbasket. It's high time we take it back.

Anonymous said...

Seems pretty odd that someone running the shelter and animal services leans on killing an animal on a whim or unsubstantiated complaint.

I talked to her and she was insufferable and acted like she could give a damn. Family pets are a big part of most families - she seems to have lost sight of that.

Rover said...

Iredell county is the only county in the state of North Carolina where even the damn dog catcher is crooked.

Don't look for much of an investigation, she is pals with our local Kenny Rogers Impersonator.

Anonymous said...

We've had numerous problems w/ this person & the very autocratic Animal Control Board of hack appointees to whom she reports. Hopefully, good riddance & I hope someone in Statesville cleans up the mess & cleans out the appointees.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, I had to have two animals put to sleep because they tested positive to a deadly disease. The animals should have been tested before being offered in the Adoption Room; definitely BEFORE I feel in love with them and certainly before I paid the adoption fee. I have dealt with other shelters and rescues and the animals are ALWAYS tested prior to adoption. This was just wrong!

Anonymous said...

She wasn't clean when she worked for the maintenance shop for the county either. Please don't think she just started her evil deeds after she got power. For what reason and how was it even permitted that her boyfriend pour every concrete job for the county especially the sheriff and jail for the whole time she worked there? I'm eager to find out, has old Craig poured any concrete projects after she was promoted to Animal Services? I'd be eager to see how much money the county gave to her boyfriend over the last 15 or 20 years. I've known the woman for 20 years or better. She's the most vindictive, vengeful woman I know. If you do her wrong, you won't get away with it, mark my word. She will get you back. Beware Iredell, mind your p's and q's, you'll be paying for this investigation.

Unknown said...

If your dog was a pit bull type dog please contact me at saveiredellpitbulls@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

hmmm...the cat lady ranted for the past two years about her cats and then and anonymous letter shows up at animal control accusing ms. royal of misdeeds. Wonder where that came from?

Anonymous said...

Ron Smith and Tracy Jackson knew damn well what was going on. They made excuses and said things like it was all angry disgruntled citizens and not Royal and her precious gang of ne'er do wells. At least one or two of them had a conscience and reported her. I know at least one of her boys was probably in on it. She got rid of anyone who didn't play by her rules. This was an open secret. She played favorites. If she liked you, she let you pass, if you talked back, like the crazy cat lady did, you paid hell.

The law is the law. Either it's enforced the same for one and all or it's not. I wonder how much money her and her boyfriend have pocketed up in Davidson County? I checked that link in the first post and I have to agree. Why would anyone send thousands of dollars in livestock on the hoof out of state and not make so much of a phone call to see how Old Red or whoever is doing? I guess if you're stealing the replacements you don't have to bother.

This woman is accusing people of animal cruelty and dangerous dogs and all kinds of stuff and she is cruel. She is a liar and she is dangerous.

I hope they lock her and the boyfriend up and throw away the key.

How many names does she go by anyway?

Anonymous said...

You can't tell me she did this all on her own. She has her little pet officers who I bet do her bidding and get theirs. I hope if there are other guilty parties, they take the fall too.

I have talked to various rescues in the area and NOT ONE of them will work with her because she is intransigent. Now, that means a lot of animals die unnecessarily because of her ego. Of course, all this time she has been lining her pockets with livestock dollars. I'll bet some of those animals were worth a pretty penny.

She gets this brand spanking new shelter and then the commissioners give her a facility for livestock. How convenient. She was probably planning this all along.

When is the crap in this county going to stop?

Anonymous said...

Just saw the follow-up on the 11:00 news on channel 9. My heart goes out to that poor woman who lost her dog. The pictures were truly disturbing. She is one cold-hearted snake.

This is not the only case of a dog being put down needlessly by a long shot. She is having dogs declared dangerous left and right. So she is judge, jury and executioner.

She needs for be fired for that arrogant smirk alone. Please, do put her mug shot up on the blog. This is the same as embezzling.

Anonymous said...

it is about time something was done about this, but don't think that just because they get the head of the snake that it is dead. Like a hydra there are many others involved and they need to get them too. As 1 officer in particular told me when told he could not do something..."I have the gun and the badge, I can do what I want."
Wonder why these postings are titled anonymous... it is because if she and her work force does get away with this again,we will have put another target on our backs. It is not right to live in fear for yourself and your animals. Especially when you have done nothing wrong.
I hope this has put a fear in her and her henchmen to equal what they have caused in others.

Anonymous said...

9:41, you are very correct. She has an officer who has operated with impunity and she let him. I took his facebook page into her boss and it was taken down but that's all that got done. The video of the officers last night on the 11:00 channel 9 news pretty much shows the do as you damn well please mentality. I think what was being shown was a heart stick or something similar out in front of God and everybody.

It's very clear that when she singled people out, she went after them with a vengance. The worm has turned. I've heard repeated stories of people who had their dogs declared dangerous or were seized and were not told their rights. She just sort of omitted that. Oops. I'll bet she gets read her rights. It's called a felony, Christina. Power corrupts, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

just so everyone knows there are good people at that shelter an all the officers do what they can but they have her as a boss so think about that. i know they do what they can when they can to do the right things ive seen it. but boy if she found out she would deff give them down the road. as an earlier post u were right of u played her game she is fine but when u stood up to her u were finished. hard to do the right things when she would not allow it. trust me.

Anonymous said...

Unbiased investigation? That's a good one. Anyone who goes to Ron Smith with a complaint about a county worker is going to find he comes down on the side of the worker.

Chris Royal is going to deny, deny, deny. She'll blame everyone else. This is someone out to get her. And old Ronnie will pat her on the head and tell her to keep up the good work.

Phil Redmond anyone? He's still on the job, although no one seems to have seen him, collecting his hundred grand plus a year of our money. What does this woman make? $75 grand? I'm just guessing. Plus all the cash she's skimmed off of the top, something that could have gone into recruiting foster homes, better food for the animals, DISTEMPER vaccines, I haven't forgotten that little "mistake." She broke the law then and was probably sliding that cash in her pocket and marking down that those animals had been given distemper shots.

This woman accused people of cruelty and neglect and it turns out she was the worst of all. Villan doesn't begin to cover it. Monster is an understatement. Evil? Well, even evil has standards.

She is so arrogant, she still has her FB page up and so does her boyfriend. Someone ought to report them to PETA. They'd have fun with them. PETA hates rodeo and rodeo clowns.

Anonymous said...

Where was the vet tech Rachael at when all this went on.....That's right she made the call too just like Ms royal

Anonymous said...

Just remember someone on the INSIDE sent in that letter. Chris Royal has been "investigated" in the past w/ no results and employees have been threatened if they don't comply. Just because she is evil doesn't mean everyone that works for her is. Hopefully now that it has been put in the spotlight all of the weeds will be pulled.

Anonymous said...

A big hand to those who have tried and continue to stand up against her!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

So we lost our family dog that was loved very much due to false accusations from Royal. The odd thing was she was personally at our Animal Grievance Committee appeals meeting sitting in the background.

We sent several emails to Royal asking for evidence which she was not able to produce. We had to get Charlotte Mecklenburg Animal Control involved just to get our dog back.

Unfortunately Shadow was separated from us many miles away as she was not allowed in Iredell. Royal asked on several occasions where Shadow would be sheltered (specific address) before she would release Shadow to us. I thought that was weird at the time, but we just wanted Shadow back and out of her control.
The sad part, Shadow went missing about 3 weeks later. She was being sheltered in a six foot fence by loving people we personally know and there were no signs of digging. She was never found. She had a chip implanted, but nobody called.

Royal is an evil and dishonest person who should be brought to justice and jailed just like the innocent animals she jailed, tortured, and killed. It’s sad that a person has been able to do this to so many people.
Maybe the county managers will listen better next time as I sent several emails to them as well with ABSOLUTELY ZERO RESPONSE. I hold them accountable as well.
After knowing how many animals and families she has harmed without cause, I feel an attorney should be consulted to better understand our rights as I have no faith in the Iredell government that this matter will truly be brought to justice.

If you are interested in legal action against Iredell County and Chris Royal, please contact me at claytonkempum@gmail.com. We are much stronger if we all work together!

Also, a very special thank you to the The Gatton Report and the reporter responsible for bringing this to all our attention on a larger scale.

Anonymous said...

I understand that PETA and other organizations have been getting tons of phone calls about this. They will come into this county with their media following and this county will finally get the coverage that it deserves for the dirty deeds it has allowed to go on. PETA has millions to go after people like Royal and the actions she takes. They have a PR machine that makes the local news organizations look like amateurs.

Don't forget that this is race season and race people come in with their pets. They come in and stay in our hotels and eat in our restuarants. They aren't going to stay in a county where an animal control could come down and seize their pets for no good reason. They will vote with their feet. I've already heard from friends who are not going to set foot in Iredell ever again. All one person has to do is set up a boycott FB page and it can go viral and a lot of people will be hurting because of Royal. People love their pets and they are not going to put up with this crap.

The Record and Landmark says that she got to present reasons why she shouldn't be dismissed. I want to know why she isn't arrested already? She has ripped off the county to God only knows how many thousands of dollars and ripped the hearts out of God only knows how many people.

Anyone she has ever pressed charges against, should go back to the prosecutor and raise hell.

Anonymous said...

I am just wondering why this is Sandra Gregory and an internal investigation. What happened to the grand jury that indicted Tommy Adams? It seems to me that this situation screams for a grand jury and it screams for her arrest. Of course, given that Tommy is sitting on his butt and has not come to trial yet speaks volumes about justice in this county.

Mr. Clayton, I wish you well, but I think a lot of people already have lawyers and if they don't, I hope they get in touch with you. Are you an attorney? It seems to me that this screams for a class action lawsuit of one kind or another. The county is already in court with one matter and one of the defendants is not showing up. Can the county afford another lawsuit? This isn't just about animals. This is about a county employee, a management level employee, ripping off the taxpayers for her own enrichment. I looked up her pay rate. She makes $57,800 plus change. I guess that isn't enough for her. Most of us have to live on half of that. Maybe some of us make a little more. Who does she think she is? She thinks she had the right to take from helpless animals and from those of us who pay her that money and she is getting a paid vacation.

The latest article in the R & L says she got to present info before she gets dismissed. Hopefully the sheriff (what a joke) is waiting for her with the cuffs on the way out of that hearing when she is dismissed. She needs to be in jail with a very, very large bail or no bail at all. How does this woman look anyone here in the eye?

Anonymous said...

The vet in Troutman works for her. She should be interviewed and made to answer as well. Why did she have to go so far out of Statesville to get someone to do her bidding?

Anonymous said...

If she ordered people under her to commit criminal acts, she is guilty of crimes under the RICO statutes. Her officers and underlings may want to come forward and tell what they know. If she is guilty under RICO, they are innocent. I just looked this up. It was how the former mayor of Detroit was convicted. I vaguely remember hearing this on CNN a week or two ago so I looked it up. Anyone who knows something needs to come forward. Don't let this criminal walk. She's ripped us all off and made helpless animals suffer. She may lose her job and she'll get to collect unemployment and her retirement. Make her go to prison. Google RICO. She's as bad as anyone else under RICO. So is her no good rodeo clown boyfriend and don't forget her kids work for the county too. It really is a racket.

Anonymous said...

There is corruption all over the county. When she worked in the sheriffs office I complained about her giving my teenager alcohol and even reported my kid for drinking and driving. I asked a deputy to watch for my child and do a search of the vehicle if necessary to stop the drinking and driving (yes, they all know who they are) and nothing was done. As I later discovered she was informed about my calls and told to watch out because there was a complaint made. Not only did I have to worry about teenage drinking and driving but a disgruntled sheriff's office employee too! Thankfully there wasn't ever a wreck to contend with and worry about some innocent person being injured (no thanks to Royal or our sheriffs department)!

Anonymous said...

I agree with most every thing that has been stated so far. Royal is inhumane, and she is a snake. I have personally witnessed many events take place and needed to speak up.

One disgusting thing Royal does (and she instructs her staff to do the same): A person will walk in to Iredell Animal Control to get rid of their pet or pets, and when they ask her or staff if they will go up for adoption, the answer is yes. As soon as the person leaves the facility their pet is usually taken directly to the back to be put down right away. I have witnessed this too many times. Why can't Royal tell the truth? One woman came in to leave her litter of kittens there, telling Royal "I wanted to bring them because I knew you could adopt them out, they are so beautiful"...to which Royal replied "Yes, ma'am". The woman signed relinquishment papers (which state that your animals may be euthanized), and Royal immediately instructed a staff member to go "put em down". I witnessed this incident. Just speak the truth! Educate people! Tell them that the Iredell euthanasia rate is incredibly high!

Another piece of truth which many rescuers do not understand about Royal...why does she charge a fee per animal for animal rescue groups that come in and RESCUE animals at IAC which then adopt them out when most other county facilities do not? This may be an Iredell County ruling, but it's really odd. And behind the times. But then Iredell County IS still using the gas chamber (as well as needle sticks) for group euthanasia.

Chris Royal needs to go.

Anonymous said...

I have to say that there are some really good people that work at Iredell Animal Control. I have recently posted here, and neglected to say that, although I do feel it. They "work" for her, and sadly must do what Royal tells them to do or else. It's sad for them.