Of Dungeons and Dragons

I happened upon a KY shelter dog’s photo on Facebook this morning which caught my eye.  So I began flipping through the photo album of the dogs at the Taylor Co pound until I found myself searching the desk drawer for a pencil sharp enough to gouge out my eyes.  I am thankful there are volunteers willing to go into the pound, photograph the dogs and post them on Facebook in an effort to help get them out.  If not for their volunteer work, these pets would be suffering in relative anonymity and even more dogs would probably be killed at the pound.

The Taylor Co pound warehouses dogs in what appear to be substandard conditions, selling them for $100.  If they don’t sell quickly enough, the pound kills them.  If these practices and pictures emerged from a place that was breeding dogs, I imagine HSUS would hop in their “rescue” rig and have the media meet them at the place as soon as the light was good to show off their HSUS logo attire.  HSUS staff would parade the dogs in front of the cameras, telling reporters how the dogs have been forced to live in terrible conditions, left with untreated medical issues and killed when they failed to generate revenue. Then they would use the case as an example of why new or stronger laws are needed to protect animals from this type of treatment.  But given that this is a municipal pound, HSUS will probably give them an award, tell us to bring them cupcakes, or most likely, sit on their $100 million dollar checkbook and do nothing.

(All images via Facebook, posted by volunteers hoping to help save the pets at the Taylor Co pound.  Click an image to enlarge.)

The notes on this dog say she’s being held in conjunction with a court case. My question: Who is going to bring the court case against the Taylor Co pound for its treatment of this dog and where will she be held then?

Why isn’t HSUS helping dogs at the Taylor Co pound?

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26 Comments

  1. Dear God, these poor dogs . . .

    Reply
  2. AMY

     /  September 29, 2012

    So sad. Ihope someone helps these poor dogs.

    Reply
  3. Triangle

     /  September 29, 2012

    This is an honest question…

    Why DON’T shelters like this get charged with animal cruelty for lack of food/clean water/inadequate shelter? I’m assuming there’s no just no one willing to charge them in the area where they are located, but can police simply refuse to charge for a crime? Are there laws that allow shelters to provide less care than a pet owner?

    We hear over and over again that ‘overpopulation’ is the fault of the ‘irresponsible public’. But every shelter in this kind of condition is contributing hugely to the problem. At this point shelters need to be looked at each other, not the public, because every shelter who isn’t doing their absolute best to get animals out alive is placing the burden on other shelters.

    So can we as the public or fellow shelter workers attempt to get shelters like this charged?

    Reply
    • My Opinion: (in answer to your honest question…)
      Shelters don’t get charged with animal cruelty because they hold the compassionate public hostage by threatening to kill said animals if anybody complains!
      Also, they need to charge the PUBLIC with animal cruelty in order to steal their dogs, and then sell the cute ones for big bucks and murder the problem children.
      Yes, the laws allow *shelters* to get away with murder! So substandard care is a short and easy slip down a very slimy slope.
      And thank you Shirley for this delightful and accurate post. I consider it my birthday present from you and I am most appreciative!

      p.s. If you live in Kentucky you can ask to have this *shelter* investigated. But, um, lots of Animal Control facilities are run under the police or emergency services departments and very few are hot to investigate themselves!

      Reply
  4. Vicki Aucremanne

     /  September 29, 2012

    To use the word they like to use – deplorable…But since it is a pound, then the conditions are ok… .I really love (sarcasm on) the one who is confiscated – confiscated to be put in a dirty, wet looking, dark, cement place with no blanket or pillow? How could anyone is their right mind not see that the conditons these dogs are in is “deplorable”??? If this were a breeder, yes a raid would happen, legal stuff would happen, and then….the animals would be stuck in this place???? WHAT!!!??? i am so sick of the double standard being applied – with obvious horrid contions being ok in pounds and shelters and not in the real world. Its time in my estimation that peopl ask that shelters be held to the exact same standards that they ask the public to be held to….

    Reply
  5. To say ‘thank you’ is nothing like enough to express our gratitude and respect for what you do for these animals in exposing these matters Shirley. Nothing like.

    Reply
  6. mikken

     /  September 29, 2012

    Let’s call HSUS and report this pound for cruel treatment and deplorable conditions and see what they say.

    Because surely keeping dogs in rust, wet cages in the dark is something they are against?

    Reply
    • Concerned citizen

       /  September 29, 2012

      this same inhumanely-run pound has been on the news for months for throwing animals in the incinerator alive and burying animals alive. Everything is kept “swept under the rug” because of the “good ole’ boy” system…corruption is very high up the rung regarding this shelter.

      Reply
      • andrea

         /  September 30, 2012

        So there is proof that animals are being thrown in alive? That is sick and needs to be addressed.

    • andrea

       /  September 30, 2012

      So it looks like it was an inmate on work release that blew the whistle on this sick operation. Of course they tried to dismiss all his claims. But I applaud Mr.Stewart for trying to stop the horrors at this shelter.

      Reply
  7. pat

     /  September 29, 2012

    WOW thanks so much for exposing this pound!! We try to do as much as possible but local officials to thwart us as much as possible ! Please continue to write about this pound!!!

    Reply
  8. pat

     /  September 29, 2012

    sorry for the 2 posts…was trying to edit. We have talked to various national groups to no avail. We must have eyewitnesses who are willing to stand up in court and give a sworn testimony. We hope that this will happen in the very near future !!

    Reply
  9. Harry Reif

     /  September 29, 2012

    As the President of the Taylor County SPCA, I can assure you that we are doing everything that we can to remedy this situation. We are being met with constant resistance and usually being ignored by the county government. This situation has been going on for years and we have gained some ground, but as you can see, there is much more to be done. We get very little help from the state and sometimes feel as if most people who could institute change just dont care. But we will not stop trying. If anyone has any ideas, please email me at infospca@yahoo.com. All help will be appreciated.

    Reply
  10. Jessica C

     /  September 29, 2012

    Oh my goodness- these poor dogs! Dungeon is right; no overdramatization on that one!

    Someone asked why authorities weren’t doing anything about it…I think it’s because people EXPECT shelters to always do the right thing, after all you are taking from the “irresponsible public” and providing shelter for them. So I think authorities don’t really care enough to look into it because they think it’s just a bunch of pesky animal rights groups who don’t really know what they are saying. Its sort of, to me, the same thing as the difference between one guy punching another guy and a police officer punching a guy. If one male punches another, most likely he will go to jail and/or have charges pressed against him. If a police officer punches someone (on the job), do you really think he would go to jail? Not very likely. Because they are there to “protect and serve”, so they cant possibly be wrong, right off the bat. So a shelter is looked at in the same way, because they are there to “protect and serve” the community. So they get away with murder that an ordinary citizen wouldn’t get away with because of who they are. That’s my explanation anyway. Having said that though, I really do hope that someone comes out to check on these poor babies. I just wont hold my breath on it.

    Reply
  11. KarenJ

     /  September 29, 2012

    It makes me sick….and the dogs will be sick from there as well. There is no way to clean and sanitize raw cinderblock…but then there’s obviously NO cleaning done at this place at all. Those poor dogs…

    Reply
  12. Eucritta

     /  September 29, 2012

    I’m no lawyer, but – based on browsing through some cases at pet-abuse.com – I suspect there are … legal issues, which make it difficult to hold places like this accountable through the courts. Things like, who to hold responsible – the current director? The staff? Whoever signed off on this pit? Cases where the local mayor has been charged in the past, it’s been dismissed on the basis that the mayor wasn’t working directly with the animals. Then too, would local animal laws actually be applicable to the facility – do they specify the condition housing must be in? Or, like in many places, do they restrict themselves to a narrow few physical criteria, evidence of starvation or physical neglect? And then there’s the issue of intent. Going by the cases at pet-abuse.com, judges are apt to decrease or dismiss charges where intent to cause harm can’t be demonstrated, and dismiss altogether anything which could be construed as compliant with department policy.

    On top of which, in general, in practice, the bar for determining if actual abuse has occurred seems to be very high, even absurdly so, and the likelihood is that any consequences – sentences, fines – will be light. So we’ve got cases that are difficult to document in sufficient detail for courts that are largely uninterested in pursuing them even if they clear the bar, because so far as they’re concerned animal welfare is a low priority and they’ve more important things to do.

    At least, that’s my take on it.

    Reply
    • pat

       /  September 30, 2012

      Local dog warden is the chairman of the committee who supposedly oversees the operation of the pound… nice eh ?

      Reply
  13. This is a disgrace. Shirley, you hit the nail right on the head about HSUS, except the conditions would be called “deplorable,” because that is their favorite word. If they were to use it in this case, they would be right, but, of course, they would not.
    I don’t know much about the laws in KY, but in MD, anybody can bring animal cruelty charges against someone by contacting the local states attorney’s office. Maybe someone in this community should give it a try? Also, in MD, shelters have to be licensed by a state board. Here, it is the same board that licenses veterinarians, I believe. If a complaint is filed w/ that board, they have to investigate it, and the shelter’s license could be suspended. Is anybody from KY reading that would be willing to do this? If so, I’ll do some searching and see if I can learn more to see if things are the same in KY. I think for the compliant to be taken seriously, it would need to be filed by someone local who had seen the conditions first hand. They may also need to testify at a hearing.

    Reply
  14. Arlene

     /  September 30, 2012

    In viewing all of these sub standard shelters for animals it seems clear to me that there needs to be a branch or organization comprised of law enforcement, animal advocates, shelter volunteers, rescue organizations and lawyers that oversee the entire animal shelter system on a federal level. It needs to have the teeth to bring charges, fine and jail those who would abuse the trust that we place in these facilities. It is a well documented fact that no organization does a good job of policing itself! Outside eyes are needed. Wouldn’t it be great if one knew immediately who could be contacted in these cases? There would be no wondering and hoping and fretting….it would be certain that the problems would be taken care of.

    I expect there are those who would disagree, however I respectfully ask; is what is being done now working? If it were there would not be horrible dungeons and cruel treatment dished out to those who cannot speak for themselves and have done nothing to end up in those places. The animals would be treated with respect.

    Reply
  15. Concerned citizen

     /  September 30, 2012

    Authorities are not doing anything about it because they are all involved and nobody wants to step on someone elses toes as they might not get reelected if they do. Politics play a big part and the poor animals at this shelter suffer because of it. HSUS seems to not even care. Google this KY shelter. You will find horror stories about what has happened to these animals in the past and it is probably still happening.

    Reply
  16. I would suggest that all evidence of wrongdoing be organized and presented in a professional manner in writing to the following simultaneously: district attorney, KY Dept of Ag., all print and TV media outlets in the area, and KY chapter of HSUS. Issue a press release to coincide with the submission of the evidence. Put me on the list and I will help.

    *I edited this to correct the state. I am currently working on a post about another dungeon – this one in NC – and accidentally typed NC in my comment here.

    Reply
    • Concerned citizen

       /  October 1, 2012

      YesBiscuit, all this has alread been done. This shelter was on Wave3 TV news last November 14. Everything is being covered up by the higher officials because they are involved too. Somebody from out of state with no political ties to the local gang is what is needed to uncover the dirty goings on. Google or Topix this animal shelter. Animals were abused, incinerated alive, and buried alive. The beings in charge do not give a hoot about animals.

      Reply
      • I am out of state with no political ties to the local pols. How can I uncover anything? Will you send me the evidence you have?

  17. Much of what is going on is similar to prisons and the inequities we saw against certain portions of our societies in the 40-50-60s.
    Not until National Law stopping that did it change.

    Reply
  18. Jody

     /  October 1, 2012

    Oh my gosh! My heart is breaking into tiny pieces. Despicable!

    Reply
  19. Concerned

     /  October 17, 2012

    The cats of this shelter are kept in conditions that are the same as the dogs! ALL of these animals need help… the shelter needs employees who actually LIKE animals before any one can expect change. People donate dog houses beds blankets etc and NONE get used EVER.. Im sure Mr Harris sells them off to his breeder friends, just my opinion tho

    Reply

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