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KY Bill HCR43 Would Create Task Force to Combat Negligence at County Animal Shelters

Paws Up!

To Kentucky legislators for sponsoring a bill to address the state’s deteriorating animal shelters.

Animal shelters are intended to be a place of refuge for animals who have suffered the perils of homelessness, neglect, and abuse. Even when operating under a small budget, animal shelters have a legal and moral obligation to provide basic needs to adoptable animals, or at least, provide  humane euthanasia when all other options have been exhausted. While most U.S. shelters do provide the best possible care to animals in their charge,  some unfortunately do not. According to a recent news article, many county shelters across the state of Kentucky are failing to provide safe and comfortable living conditions to animals. Of all the counties in Kentucky, about half of all shelters have been found to be in violation of at least three parts of the state’s Humane Shelter Law that sets standards for housing, sanitation, cleanliness, vet care, and nutrition in animal shelters. Only 12% of counties in the state were found to be in compliance by a recent study.

Various investigations by police and local news outlets have found evidence that many dogs in Kentucky animal shelters live in feces-filled cages. Some animals are forced to sit in standing water, mud, or their own urine. In 2008, concerned citizens filed a lawsuit (Penrod vs. Robertson County) after noting that the county was not providing adequate facilities for the animals and that the county dog warden was continuing to euthanize dogs by a gunshot to the head.

Kentucky’s Humane Shelter Law cannot  protect shelter animals from gross neglect if the law continues to be ignored. HCR43 would create a 11-member Shelter Oversight and Pet Overpopulation Task Force that would do the following:

“…meet monthly during the 2017 interim and shall submit a report to the appropriate legislative committee or committees by December 1, 13 2017. The report shall, at a minimum, include: A detailed analysis of Kentucky animal shelter standards, pet overpopulation in the Commonwealth; and access to, cost of spay, and funding for spay and neuter services; Recommendations for the periodic inspection of Kentucky county shelters and enforcement of Kentucky animal shelter standards; and Identify potential funding sources for Kentucky county animal shelters for spay and neuter programs, shelter services appropriate for animal welfare, and ways to reduce shelter intake and pet overpopulation.”

Take action. Residents of Kentucky, contact your legislators and urge them to support HCR43 with this simple message:

My name is {Your Name} and I am writing to urge you to support HCR43, a resolution to create an 11-member Shelter Overpopulation and Pet Overpopulation Task Force. Action must be taken to solve the rampant problems plaguing Kentucky’s county-run animal shelters.”

Respectfully,

{Your Name}

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