Settlements in Kentucky Shelters Cases Will Mean a Happier New Year for Homeless Cats and Dogs

Posted on December 18, 2009

Great year-end news for homeless Kentucky animals in need of a second chance! In a settlement agreement reached on December 17, Estill County has agreed to oversee critical improvements for homeless animals in the county’s shelter. Under the agreement, shelter employees will train with Dr. Kelli Ferris, a veterinarian who has worked closely with ALDF on many animal cruelty cases. Among other improvements, the shelter kennels and cat cages will be cleaned daily according to a protocol approved by Dr. Ferris, sick and injured animals will be separated from the general population and will receive prompt veterinary care when needed, the shelter will work proactively to encourage adoptions and to inform adopters about the importance of spaying and neutering.

Robertson County shelter before and afterMeanwhile, just a couple of weeks ago, a brand new shelter opened in Robertson County, and it is now housing the county’s homeless dogs and cats, who were previously confined in a dirty wooden shack. Earlier this year, in response to the ALDF lawsuit, Robertson County’s 18th Circuit Court issued an order of judgment that a brand new shelter would be built, providing for critical improvements for the county’s homeless animals. The new shelter was under construction for much of 2009, and the new animal control officer overseeing the shelter has been working with ALDF and training in proper methods of rescuing, caring for and handling animals and euthanasia. For often-traumatized homeless animals, expertise and care in handling at this clean, safe new facility are critical comforts that alleviate the tremendously stressful situation.

Over a year ago, ALDF attorneys representing plaintiffs in Estill County and Robertson County filed lawsuits in both of those jurisdictions, arguing that their shelters failed to meet the minimum standards of care for homeless animals laid out in Kentucky’s Humane Shelter Law. The settlements reached in both counties this year mean that both agree to bring their facilities into compliance with the state law–and to offer humane care to their homeless animals in such desperate need.

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