LARUE COUNTY, KY (WAVE) – The LaRue County Sheriff's Office is investigating what led to the death of a woman who was trying to care for 31 dogs.
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Mary King, 68, was found dead Friday morning just outside of Upton.
When LaRue County Sheriff Russell McCoy arrived at King's home Friday morning, he said her family had already moved her to their house and she was
propped up in the passenger seat of their truck.
"When I got there, things didn't look right," McCoy said. "They didn't want anyone to see the condition of the home."
Photos taken from inside the home revealed dirt and feces throughout. The dogs were mostly allowed to wander freely. LaRue County limits homes to five dogs without a special license.
"The feces was inches thick in the floor," McCoy said. "Nobody deserves to have to live in a situation like that."
LaRue County doesn't have an animal control but contracts out to Hardin County, a department led by Mike McNutt.
"We did not want to risk putting them in the general population and getting the other animals sick," he said. "This person probably had the best intentions and just got overwhelmed and it happens to the best of people."
He said considering the conditions of the home, the dogs were dirty but not malnourished.
"They were filthy," McNutt said. "They were covered in fleas but there were only a few that I felt needed immediate attention."
Dog food bags were still scattered among mounds of trash around the outside of the dilapidated home.
"There's no reason why it should've ever been in that situation," McCoy said.
King was renting from family members, and that's who the sheriff's department is focusing on in its investigation.
"They should've done something to make it better for her," McCoy said.
The department is waiting for medical reports to see if the conditions lead to King's death.
"If we do find any mistreatment, we will pursue," McCoy said.
In the meantime, McNutt said he's focused on the dogs.
"Our phones have been blowing up," he said.
Fortunately, the mostly Chihuahua and terrier mixes are generally in good health and high demand.
"We've had a lot of people call about these so I'm sure there are going to be people coming in, not just from here but all the way to Louisville," McNutt said.