Dog shot with arrow inspires possible changes to KY animal abuse laws

Animal rights advocates seeking justice, legislation for dog shot with arrow
Updated: Aug. 1, 2018 at 2:45 PM EDT
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State Rep. Kevin Bratcher (Source: Justin Hawkins, WAVE 3 News)
State Rep. Kevin Bratcher (Source: Justin Hawkins, WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The small dog found shot by an arrow over a month ago in the Fairdale neighborhood has inspired lawmakers to propose some changes to state legislation.

Animal rights advocates are seeking justice for the dog called Arrow, a name the tiny, 2-year-old Jack Russell Terrier was given after he was found with a 2-foot-long arrow piercing his body, from hip to shoulder. The images are a gruesome reminder that the person responsible for this act of cruelty could possibly get away with only a misdemeanor if found.

"Well, the first time I saw the picture, it sickened me," said State Representative Kevin Bratcher (R-District 29/Louisville). "How could someone do such a thing? Then, I heard he died a miserable death over six hours. It pierced his lungs. It's horrible."

Bratcher was approached by Pam and Anna Daniels, the neighborhood watch block captains who have started the effort to find 'Justice for Arrow'.

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"My goal is to get Kentucky off the bottom of the list for states with animal abuse laws," said Bratcher, pointing out Kentucky has been one of the worst states for animal protection laws for more than a decade. A recent report by the Animal Legal Defense Fund shows that.

Bratcher has drafted up not one, but three bills. The first creates a two-year registry for those convicted of an animal abuse felony. A second conviction puts the person on the list for five years.

"This is something Tennessee has and I believe our culture and Tennessee is not far apart," said Bratcher.

The second bill would create a Class D felony for animal cruelty.

"There's a Class D for torture, but not for cruelty," said Bratcher.

+ Click to see the Tennessee registry
Click to view Kentucky's existing animal abuse laws

The third makes it legal for Good Samaritans to break through car windows if a pet is in danger in the heat.

"It's not just a dog or cat or pet, its a part of the family," said Bratcher.

Louisville Metro Animal Services says the owner of Arrow still has yet to come forward and there has been a few leads on the suspect but nothing substantial. The reward, which was raised from the original $500 to $2,000, now stands at $7,500.

The Justice for Arrow bills will be submitted for pre-filing next week and will be up for discussion at the start of next session in January.

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