Animal shelter worker fired over racially insensitive comments on Facebook

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SNOWHILL, N.C. (WNCT) – There’s renewed debate over confederate monuments but one discussion is being overshadowed by comments from a local animal shelter worker. 

Comments many people say are disturbing.

Chris Carroll was the facility director at Beare Garden Plantation Animal Rescue. 

“While he was off duty and talking to high school friends and things were in turmoil because the statue in Rocky Mount was going to be removed. He made very derogatory, racist comments,” says Kathy Heath, the owner of the animal shelter. 

**Note: many may find the nature of the following posts disturbing.

These comments were directed at a student Mary Knight.

She describes the conversation as “Very racially insensitive. Just some of the stuff he was saying it’s not anything I haven’t heard other people say but I just feel like someone saying it to me… I was just like wow there’s a lot of ignorance going on in the world.” 

Carroll’s Facebook comments raised concerns for people in the community.

“If he will treat a human being this way and talk to a human being this way and feel that a human being is that low, how does he treat animals?” says Crystal Beiner, a worker at Crystal and Sage Beauty Studio.

The animal shelter decided to take action.

“I’m trying to meet with the team to determine the best appropriate actions to take,” Heath says. 

Carroll has since been fired, but Knight believes the conversation needs to continue.  

“Just listening to people just like trying to empathize for what other people have experienced and not trying to downplay because everyone has different experiences,” explains Knight. 

She says Carroll has reached out and apologized, but the damage has been done.

She says, “I appreciate the apology. I think you just have to think about what your words do and what they can do because once you say it you can’t take it back no matter if you apologize or not.” 

Crystal Beiner says she wants to see people standing up for others.

“If you hear somebody, see anybody saying anything that is putting down a race of people, Black people, Mexican people, Native Americans, whatever, don’t stay quiet about it.”

The Community Foundation of North Carolina East is affiliated with Beare Garden Plantation Animal Rescue. 

The shelter operates under the nonprofit status of the foundation, which has  released a statement condemning the comments made by Carroll.

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