TONIGHT AT 11: Animal shelter standards law all bark, no bite

TONIGHT AT 11: Animal shelter standards law all bark, no bite
(Source: Jeff Knight/WAVE 3 News)
(Source: Jeff Knight/WAVE 3 News)

ALBANY, KY (WAVE) - I thought I had been to just about every county animal shelter in Kentucky. I thought I had seen everything.

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But, I haven't even scratched the surface.

A filthy surface.

I've been investigating conditions at Kentucky animal shelters since 1992. I've watched dogs be put down by gunshot euthanasia.

I've seen dogs suffering a worse fate as they languished with matted, moldy disease in feces-filled pens.

In our latest investigative project with Louisville Public Media's Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, we fanned out across Kentucky and showed up, unannounced, at several county shelters.

We found dogs in putrid standing water. We found pens that hadn't been cleaned out in days. We found an animal shelter that wasn't much bigger than two dorm rooms.

What caught our eye was a report recently released by the University of Kentucky in which they sent six veterinary students to the 92 shelters that service all 120 counties. They found only 12% of the shelters in compliance with the shelter standards law passed in 2004. They found more than 50% of the shelters in violation of three or more parts of the law.

But here's the problem - there is no enforcement provision in that law. It's up to the counties to police themselves. And they're not doing it very well.

So come along with us Tuesday at 11 p.m. and see what we found when we decided to do some policing, for the animals' sake.
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