Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pinellas Humane Society medical director leaves post after boyfriend's arrest

CLEARWATER — The medical director at the Humane Society of Pinellas left her post late last week, days after her live-in boyfriend, a former Humane Society employee, was arrested on suspicion of possessing child pornography and having sex with their dog.

The nonprofit animal shelter, citing a policy against commenting on personnel issues, was tight-lipped about Katerina Williamson's departure and wouldn't say whether she was fired or left her job voluntarily. Shelter officials also wouldn't say whether her departure was related to her boyfriend's arrest on May 1.

"I'm not at liberty to discuss personnel matters," said Humane Society director of development Twila Cole. "I don't believe we have any further statement on that topic at this time."

Reached by phone, Williamson also declined comment.

"I'm not going to discuss that," said Williamson, 30.

Williamson's boyfriend, Eric Antunes, 29, was employed on a limited basis as a contract worker at the Clearwater shelter, Cole said. Antunes worked primarily in maintenance, she said, and other people were present when he had access to animals.

Former workers and volunteers dispute that, including Mike Eagle, who worked with dogs at the shelter until February. Eagle said Antunes worked with dogs in the Humane Society's medical kennels and was responsible for walking them and caring for them. Antunes worked in that position for several months last fall, he said.

"He was pretty much the only one down there to take care of the animals," Eagle said.

Antunes was arrested on 10 counts of possessing child pornography. The animal cruelty charge was referred to the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's Office for possible prosecution.

He was released from the Pinellas County Jail on Wednesday after posting $15,000 bail.

Clearwater police began investigating Antunes after getting a tip that he had child pornography. Antunes admitted downloading and viewing child pornography on his home computer, and a search of his hard drive found nine photos and one video of child pornography, police said. Several images of bestiality involving Antunes' and Williamson's dog were also found on his cell phone, according to police.

This is the Humane Society's second controversy involving Williamson this year. Last month, the Tampa Bay Times reported that several volunteers were frustrated with the direction of the shelter since Williamson was hired in September. Williamson previously worked for SPCA Suncoast in New Port Richey.

Four volunteers resigned in February, claiming the shelter killed dogs with treatable health conditions and correctable behavior issues. They also faulted the shelter for accepting hundreds of dogs from outside the Tampa Bay area while apparently rejecting dogs from the community.

Former volunteer Lori Ammons called Williamson's departure from the Humane Society "a step in the right direction."

Lorri Helfand can be reached at lorri@tampabay.com or (727) 445-4155. Go to tampabay.com/letters to write a letter to the editor.

Pinellas Humane Society medical director leaves post after boyfriend's arrest 05/07/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 8, 2012 8:50am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Study: Tampa Bay a top market for homebuyers on the move

    Real Estate

    The Tampa Bay area is among the top markets for homebuyers who are likely to move in the next few months, ATTOM Data Solutions says.

    The Tampa Bay area is among the top markets for homebuyers who are likely to move in the next few months, a survey found.
[Associated Press file photo]
  2. Tampa lawyer Fred Ridley to be new chairman of Augusta National, Masters' home (w/ video)

    Golf

    AUGUSTA, Ga. — Fred Ridley first came to Augusta National to compete in the 1976 Masters as the U.S. Amateur champion, and he played the opening round in the traditional pairing with the defending champion, Jack Nicklaus.

  3. Rays send down Chase Whitley, Andrew Kittredge; add Chih-Wei Hu, activate Alex Cobb

    Blogs

    After having to cover more than five innings following a short start by Austin Pruitt, the Rays shuffled their bullpen following Wednesday's game, sending down RHPs Chase Whitley and Andrew Kittredge,

    The Kittredge move was expected, as he was summoned to add depth to the pen Wednesday in advance of RHP Alex …

  4. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred moves closer to wanting a decision on Rays stadium

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred called Wednesday for urgency from Tampa Bay area government leaders to prioritize and move quicker on plans for a new Rays stadium.

    MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred talks with reporters at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017.
  5. Six home runs doom Rays in loss to Blue Jays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — A curve that didn't bounce was the difference Wednesday as the Rays lost 7-6 to the Blue Jays in front of 8,264, the smallest Tropicana field crowd since Sept. 5, 2006.

    Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria (11) greets center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (39) at the plate after his two run home run in the third inning of the game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017.