Pet shop files suit against McKamey, Chattanooga

Chattanooga's city attorney said a lawsuit against the city and its animal services provider marks the first court case here claiming that contract employees are performing government functions.

United Pet Supply Inc., the parent company of the recently closed Pet Company store at Hamilton Place mall, filed simultaneous federal and state court lawsuits against McKamey Animal Care and Adoption Center and the city last week seeking a total of $10 million in damages.

The suits in Hamilton County Circuit Court and U.S. District Court claim Chattanooga violated the Windsor, N.Y.-based company's civil rights when officers seized animals and records last year. The company claims that a string of actions by McKamey effectively shut down the Pet Company store.

The lawsuit claims violation of its Fifth Amendment rights in relation to the search and seizure of animals, and of its 14th Amendment right to due process.