Evidence of Abuse at McCracken Co Pound

WarningThe video linked below may be too disturbing for sensitive viewers.  It shows both dead dogs and cats, as well as living cats, in a filthy kill room at the McCracken Co Humane Society.  There are no images of pets actually being killed.

This week, we learned of allegations of abuse at the McCracken Co HS in KY – specifically that a certified euthanasia technician had killed 4000 fully conscious pets via heartstick.  A new report puts that number at 8000.

The investigation and pending charges against the euthanasia tech are due to the advocacy of one compassionate person – employee Jeremiah Robertson.  Mr. Robertson saw the wrongdoing at the pound and talked to his supervisors.  They did nothing.  So he spent weeks recording video and audio in the kill room at the pound on his cell phone.  He then took those recordings to the county sheriff’s office.  A local news station viewed and listened to some of the recordings:

The video shows dying dogs, lying in pools of their own blood. A cat roams loose as the dogs draw their last breath.

Video of the same room on a different day shows that cats died together in a pile. The employee who shot this video said it’s not uncommon for dead animals to be left for days and often in the same room with uncaged, live animals.

And as if the video isn’t disturbing enough, there’s the audio, captured during euthanasia. From the recording, it’s obvious the animals are in pain.

“They bled. They yelped. I’ve seen them bleed from the mouths where he missed the heart and got the lung,” Robertson said. “Its pretty rough.”

I am including the video link in this post because I feel it’s important to get this evidence out there.  The brave employee who exposed this abuse did so at a risk and his efforts must not be in vain.  The abuse and needless killing of pets in our country’s so-called animal shelters is a crime kept mostly under a cloak of darkness by a culture of conspiracy among those in power.  When advocates take non-violent action such as Mr. Robertson did, we chip away at that power.  With enough chips, those opposed to reform will eventually crumble.  Power to the people – the real humane society in our country who doesn’t want to see shelter pets abused and needlessly killed.

This is a local “humane society” in KY.  You might think this is nothing at all like what goes on in the kill room of your local municipal facility.  You may be right.  Or you may be wrong.  Unless compassionate advocates take non-violent action to expose wrongdoings wherever they exist, we don’t know for certain.  One thing we do know – this is not an isolated occurrence.  Notice how those in power seek to maintain the status quo and avoid responsibility, even in the face of undeniable cruelty:

Robertson said after he released the video to authorities, the McCracken County Humane Society Director Shirley Grimes created a new rule: no cell phones while at work.

We reached out to Grimes to get her response to all this. She had no comment.

The McCracken County Attorney told Local 6 while the director may have an ethical obligation to make sure things like this don’t happen, legally, the responsibilty falls on the certified animal euthanasia specialist.

Again, I want to warn readers that this video shows images of dead pets and may be too disturbing for some.  The purpose of viewing and sharing this video is not to simply gawk at the brutality but to expose an institution of cruelty too common in our shelter system.  And to remember that, like the millions of other pets needlessly killed in our shelters every year, the pets in this video deserved to live.  They are all loved.  They are not forgotten.  Remembering them motivates me to continue working for change.  They deserve nothing less.

Link to video:  http://www.wpsdlocal6.com/home/related/Undercover-video-of-McCracken-County-Humane-Society-134160873.html

21 thoughts on “Evidence of Abuse at McCracken Co Pound

  1. Yeah, I’m not going to watch the video.

    No cell phones at work. How typical is that? There’s a horror show going on, so what do we do? Hide it. Don’t stand up and say, “Holy shit, I’m in charge and I’m stopping this right now. This is going to change this instant!” No, instead we cover up, evade, avoid. This tells me that Director Grimes knew about and was complicit with the events.

    1. I hesitated to watch it myself but ended up deciding I would try to get through it and just keep my hand on the mouse to shut it off instantly if it became overwhelming.

      You just know those in charge are combing the employee’s attendance records and anything else they can think of to try and justify firing him.

  2. The ban on cell phones just makes me wonder what else they’re hiding. Then again, it’d be hard for it to be worse than this.

    I really don’t understand how people like Dir. Grimes live with themselves.

    Kudos to Mr Robertson … a brave and principled man. We need more like him.

  3. These people need to be killed the same ruthless, heartless way those poor innocent animals were killed.

  4. It is making me sick as a resident of McCracken County. I called about volunteering there years ago, and I was told they did NOT accept volunteers there because of “liability.” I also know that they do NOTHING to help adopt the animals out of this place. Even the animal control authorities are cruel: one of them shot a dog to death in front of school children!

    1. Not sure if you’ve found this page yet, but here’s a post from about an hour ago:

      “Just spoke with Sandy who is helping with the new temporary shelter. The animals are safe and are being taken care of while in the old shelter. The road department workers are taking care of them this weekend but we need volunteers for 2 weeks. Tonight I need a roster of everyone who wants to help with the new shelter. Including Thanksgiving Day. She is an awesome lady who also has the interest of the animals at heart. WE ARE ALREADY CHANGING THINGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You all are amazing.”

      Sounds like they need volunteers now! I’d love to go help them out, but I no longer live in the area.


  5. I can’t believe it, it just gets worse. Is everybody this evil? Who can we write to, to put a stop to this? Thanks to the person that tried to do something about this.

    1. You could send a note to the sheriff’s department asking for a thorough investigation of the allegations to include the thousands of pets this employee allegedly killed: http://www.mccrackencountysheriff.com/info/contactnumbers.htm

      and maybe the county attorney, requesting prosecution to the fullest extent of the law and seeking maximum punishment: http://www.countyattorney.mccrackencounty.ky.gov/contact.htm

      Also the pound itself, asking them to accept volunteer help from local citizens, to investigate claims of abuse instead of brushing them off, and to take responsibility for the actions of their employee instead of attempting to cover it up: http://www.petfinder.com/shelters/KY373.html

  6. Scapegoat!! One person is charged and the actual culprit is the shelter director. They all knew, and lied repeatedly. Bollocks!
    The man that did the filming should have a parade for his doing the right thing. Going past all the homes of those that knew and did nothing. Those that say no cell phones etc.. All of the people that knew should be charged. Ah but that would be a perfect world.

  7. I forced myself to watch the clip, albeit without sound so as not to scare my pack. I almost threw up my lunch, literally when I say that poor black labby was still alive. Yes, this DOES make MAS smell like a rose, albeit a rose of death still. THanks for the contacts, will get on it right away. I have never seen such horror, BUT, another note you can all ask the above contacts to investigate is the threat to human health and safety, as I saw more than once, blood, bodily fluids and uncapped/used syringes. Not as bad as the killing for sure, but sometimes that will get the eye of the so-called authorities.

    As for the whistleblower, anyone in McCracken Cty. who knows if/when he goes to court, let us all know, maybe we can get up a presence in his support. Also, it would be great if everyone could write an amicus brief to the prosecutors (I read that he was being charged), which is a friendly supportive and professional sounding brief in support of the accused’s actions. Just brainstorming here.

  8. The shelter leader should be going to jail too. No way they could not have know what was going on in their shelter not went it went on and on and on.

  9. It’s beyond everything!!! No words!!! You think it can never happen in a shelter!!! Poor animals!!! The one who did it.. need to be behind bars!!! Thank you and God Bless them who reported it and took care of the still alive animals at the shelter!!! It’s a hortific felony crime!!! Thank You!!!

  10. From WPSD TV Paducah…

    BREAKING NEWS: Shirley Grimes with the McCracken County Humane Society plans to officially resign in early December. Grimes served as director for 34 years.

    1. Thirty-four years. My God, I can only imagine the horrors she allowed in all that time.

      Hopefully the law will seek her out.


  12. There is a news story about Marshall County KY animal shelter taking in animals where owners live in McCracken County KY but do not want to drop off their animals there. This shelter is not supposed to take animals from another county but the owners will just drop them off on the side of the road. Here is the link:


    If you are looking to adopt, please consider the Marshall County KY animal shelter-pets are on petfinder and facebook.

  13. I can’t/won’t watch the video of such cruelty. It hurts my soul.

    The No Kill community is getting stromger voicing their concerns. The opposition WILL crumble. I HIGHLY RECCOMEND watching “How To Start A Revolution” on Current TV Saturday 12:00am midnight ’til !:00am. I’ve seen the documentary earlier. It is a MUST SEE for everyone seeking change with the needless killing across the country or around the world. It is a step by step guide & information where to get information to change governments & the status quo. It’s what is needed & has proven successful. Please watch or have it recorded for you.

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