Ashley Judd Petitions Kentucky Governor to Help Homeless Animals

Posted by Stephen Wells, ALDF's Executive Director on May 11, 2010

Ashley Judd with her canine companionToday, the Animal Legal Defense Fund shipped thousands of signed petitions to the Kentucky state capitol, urging better protection for the state’s homeless animals–and celebrated actress Ashley Judd is the latest advocate to join the campaign. Though Hollywood knows her for her starring roles in movies like Kiss the Girls, Double Jeopardy, De-Lovely, and Tooth Fairy, Ashley is first and foremost a Kentucky girl–which is why she has signed the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s petition to urge Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear to protect Kentucky’s homeless animals through tough enforcement of the state’s Humane Shelter Law.

A University of Kentucky graduate and avid Wildcats fan, Ashley also has a passion for protecting animals. As her signed petition makes its way to the governor’s desk, animal lovers around the country can join her by signing on their support in ALDF’s just-launched online petition drive to help the state’s suffering strays.

What’s Wrong with Kentucky Shelters?

Kentucky’s Humane Shelter Law, passed in 2004, requires each county to provide basic care for its stray cats and dogs, including food and water, shelter, and humane euthanasia–as well as a chance to be reunited with their lost families or adopted into new, loving homes. However, because the law is not being enforced, many of Kentucky’s animals continue to suffer and die in deplorable conditions. Ashley’s signed petition to Governor Beshear notes, “As a supporter of the Animal Legal Defense Fund, I strongly urge you to step in and end the suffering of all innocent animals in Kentucky by pressing the legislature to act and have the state take back responsibility for oversight of these shelters.”

Taking Kentucky Counties to Court
Over the past two years, ALDF has filed lawsuits in two particularly problematic Kentucky counties–Robertson and Estill–that helped put an end to the abuse and neglect of homeless dogs and cats in those counties, which had not been in compliance with the state’s Humane Shelter Law. Most recently, ALDF negotiated an agreement with Rockcastle County resulting in dramatically improved conditions for some of the state’s most desperately needy animals. Before ALDF’s intervention,  gravely ill and injured animals were left to languish in their cages with no medical treatment, often facing attack from other animals who are housed with them (in one instance, a large dog literally ate two puppies who were housed with him); unaltered male and female animals were housed together, resulting in pregnancies and exacerbating the overpopulation crisis; and dogs were forced to relieve themselves, sleep, and even eat their food directly off of the same filthy kennel floors.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund will not stop in our fight to push Kentucky’s 120 counties to protect their animals, but it is a long, uphill battle. That’s why we’re asking animal lovers everywhere to join Ashley by signing the petition to Governor Beshear, urging him to step in and end the suffering of Kentucky’s innocent homeless cats and dogs.