In April, Boyle Co Animal Care and Control in Kentucky seized twelve presa canarios from owner Christopher Pope who was charged with twelve misdemeanor animal cruelty counts. Five of the dogs were returned to him while the other seven were housed at the local HS while the court case proceeded. In June, Pope’s house caught fire and three dead presa canarios were found on the property – two in a bathtub and one decomposing in a plastic bin. The cause of death was never sought. Last month, Pope made a plea agreement with Boyle Co on reduced charges. His seven dogs were returned to him despite protests from rescuers:
Boyle County Attorney Richard Campbell decided to release the dogs into Pope’s care despite some public outcry and requests from “rescue” organizations to take the dogs. Campbell said in a recent interview that he made the decision because if Pope went to trial on the charges and was found not guilty, he could rightfully reclaim his dogs.
Days after Pope put the dogs in kennels on property in Lincoln Co, six of them chewed through the fencing and escaped. They reportedly mauled a woman in her yard, causing her serious injuries. One dog was shot to death at the scene and the others, including a pregnant dog named Fiona whose belly was too fat to escape the kennel, were taken to Lincoln Co AC. There, Fiona whelped a litter of ten puppies. Local animal advocates hired an attorney to fight for Fiona’s right to live along with her puppies, noting none of them were involved in the attack.
Lincoln Co judge executive Jim Adams ordered all the dogs, including Fiona, killed on August 10. All ten of her puppies are also reportedly dead, although the county is refusing to say exactly how they died. Adams has also put a stop to rescues and volunteer transporters pulling animals from the pound, citing liability concerns. Animal advocates protested the judge’s decisions on the steps of the Lincoln Co courthouse this weekend.
The case appears to have been mishandled from the beginning with multiple points along the way where the counties involved could have prevented further harm. Instead, they have ended up with a seriously injured resident, a pile of dead dogs and puppies, protesting animal advocates, and presumably more dogs languishing at the pound. Maybe they figure they’re in a hole and it’s too late to stop digging now, I don’t know. I hope the locals stay on them.
(Thanks Clarice for the links.)