JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL)- Social media has been abuzz this week as many have speculated that the owner of Off Leash K9 Training Center in Johnson City also has her hand in another business in East Tennessee.
Kristen Kellum with Duck Donuts Franchising Company confirmed that Randi LaFerney is the franchise owner of the Duck Donuts in Knoxville.
Due to LaFerney’s connection to the donut chain, both the Knoxville location’s Facebook page and the national company’s Facebook page have been inundated with reviews and posts regarding LaFerney’s animal cruelty charges in Washington County, Tenn.
You can see some of the reviews on Facebook that we’ve posted below.
Our sister station, WATE in Knoxville, did a story in February as a business was raising awareness for ‘donut and tire safety’ by stacking real doughnuts.
LaFerney can be seen in an image posted in that story.
LaFerney and Andrew Hunigan, a trainer at Off Leash K9 Training in Johnson City, both appeared in a Washington County, Tennessee courtroom Tuesday on charges of aggravated animal cruelty.
Both are facing those charges after a dog reportedly died while being boarded at the facility.
They are due back in court June 12th for a preliminary hearing to determine if there is probable cause in their cases.
News Channel 11 has reached out to Duck Donut’s national office for a comment.
Wednesday afternoon we received the following statement:
“Duck Donuts is aware of the current situation regarding one of our independent franchisees. Duck Donuts does not condone animal cruelty, and we are deeply saddened by the loss of Dallas the bull terrier. We take matters such as these very seriously and hold all of our franchisees to the highest standard of conduct when representing the Duck Donuts brand.
At this time, the Knoxville Duck Donuts franchise owner is not involved with the operation of the Knoxville Duck Donuts location while the investigation continues.”
–Duck Donuts Franchising Company
We’ve also reached out to Randi LaFerney and left her a message. We have not yet heard back.