On Valentine’s Day, over 100 animals were rescued from a “rescue” in Graves County, KY. They were living in filthy, overcrowded conditions with no access to food or water. However, their caretakers will likely only be charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty. Why? KY doesn’t have a felony animal neglect law. So, even if the owner is charged and convicted, she will only be facing less than a year in jail and small fines. This is one reason Kentucky has once again been named the best state to be an animal abuser by the Animal Legal Defense Fund.
Kentucky has made strides in strengthening animal cruelty laws in recent years. The felony torture law enacted a few years ago has brought about some heavier sentences. In addition to the Northern Kentucky man denied parole after being convicted under the statute for killing his stalking victim’s cats, Marc Staley was recently convicted of felony torture by a Christian Co. jury for skinning his wife’s dog in the bathtub. The jury recommended a sentence of three years in prison. However, hoarding and puppy mill situations are generally not included in this category.
In addition to pushing for stronger neglect laws at the rally, constituents can urge lawmakers to support HB 233 and HB 273, which deal with animals in domestic violence cases and animal shelter forfeiture, respectively.
Please come out to the Capitol in Frankfort on Thursday, February 23 @ 1:00 to speak for those who can’t speak for themselves. If you can’t make it to the rally, please call the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-372-7181 and express your support for HBs 233 and 273. Hope to see you at the rally!