Taylor Co Advocates Battle Officials for the Lives of Shelter Pets

The Taylor Co pound in KY is by all accounts, a hellhole.  There have been allegations of inhumane conditions and practices, including pets being buried alive and burned alive, for years.  A disturbing video posted recently on YouTube shows images of suffering pets (and at least one dead dog) at the pound.  (It’s a 6 minute video which took me 3 installments to get through.  Use your discretion.)

Last month, Taylor Co used a $150,000 grant from the KY Department of Agriculture to open a new shelter.  This month, the county judge-executive announced the facility would no longer operate as a shelter.  The vague plan was to use the new building as a holding facility only and transfer pets after one day to some unnamed location(s).  The local news asked why the county would cease operating an animal shelter so soon after opening a new one:

The judge executive says the shelter is closing because of constant public information requests from animal groups that cost $100,000 to produce.

First off, the cost to copy public records is normally passed along to the party filing the request.  Secondly – $100k?  Is Taylor Co paying the records clerk $1000 an hour to copy records onto gold paper?  Sorry but that claim smells fishy to me.  It sounds more like the county calling the wahmbulance because pesky animal advocates are demanding the people at the shelter do their jobs.  In retaliation, the county is going to take its ball and go home.  And tell Mom.

Thankfully the state Department of Agriculture developed an interest when the news broke that Taylor Co was closing the shelter just opened with its $150,000 grant:

[Kentucky's Agriculture Commissioner James] Comer says, “We consider a shelter a shelter, and if they received grant dollars to have an animal shelter to be able to make animals up for adoption, then that’s what they’re supposed to do.”

[...]

Comer says if the shelter’s in breach [of contract for the state grant], he could force the county to keep it open or have the $150,000 returned to the state.  “We’re going to go in there and clean it up,” he says.

We’ll see.

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25 Comments

  1. Jim

     /  February 27, 2013

    I hope they make them return the grant. That is what they should do, they have already breached the contract.

    These creeps use any excuse they can dream up to refuse to give out public information. /wonder why? Would it have anything to do with trying to cover up what they are doing?

    Reply
    • My hope would be the county is forced to operate the shelter and do their jobs to save pets’ lives. Failing that, yes have the county give back the grant money and allow a no kill group to take over operations. The group can apply for their own grants.

      Reply
      • Christine Zois

         /  February 27, 2013

        Do you realize that the management of the shelter responsible for this HORRIFIC situation are relatives and best friends of Chief Judge Exec Eddie Rogers and Sheriff John Harris ???
        CLOSING THE SHELTER MEANS THE ANIMALS WILL DIRECTLY BE KILLED OUTRIGHT.
        The county officials are THE PROBLEM, THEY ARE NOT PART OF THE SOLUTION.

      • April Williams

         /  February 28, 2013

        My husband and I moved from NH to Kentucky with a purpose and that purpose was to hopefully start a no-kill shelter. We believe every animal deserves to be loved, cared for, warm, fed and live in a clean place. I would not sleep in that shelter so why would I put an animal in that kind of environment? These animals depend on us The animals are living breathing beings not some piece of property. We would love the opportunity to show the town what these animals deserve. Look at the stats. from NH on animal welfare. I am totally appalled that anyone would think that it is ok to treat anything like this. No, we have never operated a shelter but we know what it takes. First and Foremost Animals come first, may take some hard work, may mean going in on holidays and working 7 days a week. It means long hours, it means serving the animals. It means educating people and working with the community

    • Christine Zois

       /  March 12, 2013

      Returning the grant Jim ? The creeps you are referring to, who are responsible for these atrocities, are the appointed employees by county, NOT the animal advocates fighting to keep the shelter open and reform it. What are you talking about ?

      Reply
  2. mikken

     /  February 27, 2013

    If these places invested a tenth as much effort to run things properly that they expend to cover up, obfuscate, and deny their cruelty, laziness, and blatant incompetence, then we wouldn’t have stories like this.

    Boo hoo, people found out that we’re horrible people doing unspeakably cruel and illegal things and now they’re trying to hold us accountable!

    It’s time to act like responsible grownups, Taylor County. Or step aside and let the advocates handle things.

    Reply
    • papi

       /  February 27, 2013

      really nailed it mikken ! Bad news now is the Comm of AG..says its ok .. good ole boy network out in full force! We will never stop trying to prevent cruelty and eliminate suffering !

      Reply
  3. being forced to operate as a shelter scares me.. will this be another MAS for spite?

    Reply
  4. Lets get new administration in and kick the old to the curb.

    There was a post on Facebook after this picture was exposed. One commented on how they get on Facebook for fun and laughs not to see the gruesome truth. What happens to those who refuse to learn the truth.. Ignorance prevails.

    I’m starting by calling each legislator etc and writing a letter.. Facing not sending. We have the power to change this. We are bigger than we realize.

    Reply
  5. Mad Mary, getting out of hell in Kentucky.

     /  February 27, 2013

    NEWS FLASH!!!! This so called ag administrator found that a shelter does NOT in fact have to be a “shelter” to get 150K of the taxpayers money to open a “shelter”. All is has to do is freaking ask!!! YES, we here in KY are pissed and tired of this kind of activity!!! NO MORE OF MY TAX MONEY FOR KENTUCKY TO ABUSE, MOVING OUT!!!

    Reply
  6. Mad Mary, getting out of hell in Kentucky.

     /  February 27, 2013

    THIS is a JOKE!!!
    [Kentucky's Agriculture Commissioner James] Comer says, ”We consider a shelter a shelter, and if they received grant dollars to have an animal shelter to be able to make animals up for adoption, then that’s what they’re supposed to do.”
    He is another useless piece of the puzzle. NO, a shelter in KY does not have to act like a shelter. In fact that term is one of the most abused terms in the language of that quote. Collecting and warehousing is not sheltering, its collecting and warehousing. Warehouse and shelter do NOT share the same definition.

    Reply
  7. Sylvia Whittaker Butler

     /  February 27, 2013

    This is a terrible situation in this small town.
    The animals need a safe & good shelter. We need a shelter for the animals & one that is run properly!.! Please help us!!

    Reply
  8. Tonya

     /  February 27, 2013

    Nice-take the money and run attitude. I hope for the sake of the animals that real change can happen here.

    Reply
  9. lynnpax

     /  February 27, 2013

    If the Taylor County Animal Shelter is in fact closing their doors to the public, meaning no adoptions and no rescues, it can no longer call itself an animal “shelter”. Community members have been protesting against animal cruelty within this shelter. So now Taylor County is going to make it worse?

    On January 2, 2013, a dog in the care of the Taylor County Animal Shelter, George, died from severe blood loss (neglect), bringing this shelter’s lack of animal care national attention.

    Taylor County now has a choice to either make matters worse or work with the community to help this shelter function as an actual care shelter.

    Reply
  10. Bill Baxmann

     /  February 28, 2013

    Please close this place or change the ownership. So heartbreaking to read! Sounds like they just take the money but don’t have the animals. Burned alive! That is terrible!!!

    Reply
    • Mad Mary, getting out of hell in Kentucky.

       /  February 28, 2013

      yeah… NO!! DONT CLOSE IT!! thats so OBVIOUSLY NOT the answer. How about letting people run it who actually KNOW what they are doing and can run it efficiently!! Especially now that you have built it with OUR TAX DOLLARS!!!

      Reply
    • Christine Zois

       /  March 12, 2013

      Bill, please understandd that the county officials and Judge are the people responsible for the atrocities that have been going on at the Taylor County Shelter for years now, If the shelter is closed, the only ones that will suffer will be the animals. The shelter needs to be reformed, and put into the hands of the SPCA, Taylor Made Rescue, and E.L.L.I.O.T. Volunteers who actually have the best interests of animal welfare at hand. Not the Judge or county appointed officials, who have been allowed to abuse animals since first uncovered in 2006 at this facility. Please educate yourself before posting erroneous information. Thank you.

      Reply
  11. C.A.Reynolds

     /  March 1, 2013

    My visits to the shelter in the past years were alarming. I actually said ” my gosh why don’t you guys clean this place up?” I remember getting a smart remark, but couldn’t say from who. I got the feeling that the staff was lazy. I hope that the adoption program is reopened and I’m thrilled to heard of the new management. sorry I didn’t make it to the meeting last week I was out of town.

    Reply
  12. Phyllis Kaelin

     /  March 1, 2013

    I hope the Courier Journal expose the corrupt people that have been running the Shelter in Campbellsivlle, There are some No-kill shelters, that work tirelessly with other shelters to provide for the care of animals without killing, euthanizing,or mistreatment. The people of Taylor County that love and advocate for the decent care of animals there should picket every day with signs & posters in front of The Co Judge Exec. offices, & in front of their Court House. Let them all know the people of Taylor Co will not accept the inhumane & Cruel practices of John Harris & others!!

    Reply
  13. Susan Lewis

     /  March 2, 2013

    Someone should have to answer for the care that was given this dog, “George”.

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=401586873211118&set=a.379162678786871.47012.373377126032093&type=1&theater

    Reply
    • Mad Mary, getting out of hell in Kentucky.

       /  March 4, 2013

      Good luck holding ANY Kentucky official accountable for anything. Not going to happen here.

      Reply
      • advocate of animals

         /  March 12, 2013

        Maybe these people(and I use that term LOOSELY!) need to be held accountable by people OUTSIDE of Kentucky!!??

      • Mad Mary, getting out of hell in Kentucky.

         /  March 12, 2013

        There is no such thing as accountability, at the county level or at the state level. The heads in the sand start in the governors office, and leaches all the way down to the lowest form of life in the county. So, in essence the residents of KY have no choices but to swallow the crap they vote into office. I would suggest taking your money somewhere that values its citizens, their tax dollars, the fact that we pay their salaries, and that has some sort of accountability system in place. Thats NOT KENTUCKY, not now, and not ever if they have anything to say about it. The good Ole boys want to keep their pockets lined for as long as they can, at our expense. Taking my tax dollars OUT OF KENTUCKY POCKETS!!!

  14. animal advocates

     /  March 19, 2013

    the people trying to handle this case have not a clue what they’re doing we will be lucky if problems do not continue there for years

    Reply
  15. rosesrme3

     /  May 16, 2013

    I’ll believe cleanup when I see it! We need to get rid of the so called shelters and open a facility that really cares and believes in protecting the animals! This is true countrywide!!! Are they hiring the dregs of humanity to run these places) They certainly aren’t shelters!! What does it take to fix this major problem!!!

    Reply

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