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A raid, a rescue, and more trouble for Trixie Foundation

Updated: May. 5, 2020 at 12:10 AM EDT
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WEBBVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - They walked the same muddy path that we walked two months ago to a place you can’t see from the road. But this time was much different. They were carrying the animals away, rescuing them, after Kentucky State Troopers executed a search warrant at the Trixie Foundation animal sanctuary that takes donations from all over the world.

Our investigation of Trixie Foundation founder Randy Skaggs began two years ago. Charged with 179 counts of animal cruelty, Skaggs was allowed to keep the animals pending trial. But the trial has been delayed for two years.

Randy Skaggs says he's strong enough to survive the criticism he gets as the person in charge...
Randy Skaggs says he's strong enough to survive the criticism he gets as the person in charge of the Trixie Foundation in Elliott County.(WAVE 3 News)

So in February, we went back unannounced to see how they were doing. Dozens of animals were no longer there.

“They’re reporting dogs are dying, laying in the mud, freezing, have no shelter,” TLC Rescue founder Julia Sharp told us in February. “We were told one dog was placed inside one of the igloos after she was dead and was left there to rot for two weeks inside one of those dog houses.”

“There’s a Facebook site calling this a gulag?" I asked Skaggs in February.

“Gulag of despair,” Skaggs said. “Where all the animals are living in misery and hate me and hate being here. Well that's all crap. Do you see any animals look not happy? Do you see any look like they're starving to death?"

After our second report, complaints about the shelter’s conditions ended in this weekend’s raid by state police.

108 animals were seized. 12 found dead. Skaggs was cited with 12 counts of improper disposal of dead animals.

“She is beyond filthy,” Sharp said. “She is matted, she has advanced dental disease, it looks like her jaw is literally rotting out. She is blind and she’s deaf, and she is caked with mud, so this little one was laying there waiting to die.”

Randy Skaggs, who operates the Trixie Foundation, faced 179 charges two years ago. When a WAVE...
Randy Skaggs, who operates the Trixie Foundation, faced 179 charges two years ago. When a WAVE 3 News crew showed up for a surprise visit in Feb. 2020, the scene was just like it was in 2018.(WAVE 3 News)

Skaggs was not arrested. He said he intends to fight all the charges.

"I'm pretty tough,” Skaggs told us in February. “My heritage is vikings. They don't make them like that anymore and I'm gonna hang in there because I believe what I'm doing is right."

"Justice would be him in jail for the rest of his life,” Sharp said after the raid.

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