Why this is important:
“He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals”.
– Immanuel Kant, German Philosopher
Wave 3 news recently featured a story outlining horrid allegations of animal abuse and cruelty at the Taylor County Animal Shelter. In a letter written by Andy Stewart, an inmate at the Taylor County Detention Center, Stewart claims he witnessed the brutal killings of cats and dogs, botched euthanasia, and animals being buried alive.
Stewart claims that on April 7th, he was part of a mass euthanization of at least 39 animals in one day. The shelters incinerator was broken that day so the animals were buried sin three mass graves, and some of those animals were buried alive. “After euthanizing the animals, some of them would still be alive and we would throw them and the dead ones in the bucket of a backhoe and take and dump them into the incinerator dead or alive”, Stewart wrote in his letter to the Central KY News Journal. Taylor County Executive Eddie Rogers, said the burner went out on the incinerator and it was down for about two weeks. He said that it is true that 39 animals were euthanized and buried in mass graves. While shelter director, John Harris, denies the allegations, the State of Kentucky and the Animal Legal Defense Fund, a non-profit- animal rights group in California, haven’t been so quick to dismiss Stewart’s claims. They also include one account of animals that were thrown into the shelters incinerator, called the “eliminator”, while they were still alive.
This is not the first time that rumors and allegations of animal abuse and improper procedures have swirled around the Taylor County Animal Shelter. For years, such claims have existed, and been long known by many citizens in Campbellsville, Kentucky. This is the first time, however, it has received the media attention it deserves. The cruel fact is that no one seems to care or want to stand up for what is right. Management seemingly does nothing to try and find homes for these animals.
Taylor County Animal Shelter does NOT allow volunteers or utilize websites to try and list animals that are up for adoption. It is impossible to get on a computer and find a listing for a dog or cat available for adoption at the Taylor County Animal Shelter. There is no calling of rescues or foster homes. Why would a shelter not allow volunteers? Is it because people who volunteer care? Is it because people who care would blow the whistle?
The KY Board of Veterinary Examiners is meeting December 1st, to decide whether or not the mass graves need to be exhumed. By then, it may be too late. The evidence may be gone. In the recent story on Wave 3, it states that when two EPA investigators met with the director John Harris, on site they “identified three separate areas in the woods near the shelter that appeared to have been recently disturbed”. These graves DO NOT need to be disturbed while an investigating is pending.
Shelter Director, John Harris, needs to step down or be placed on administrative leave until the case has been fully reviewed and until such time as he is exonerated. ANY wrongdoings at Taylor County Animal Shelter need to be stopped IMMEDIATELY, until it can be confirmed that they are following proper procedures and state laws.
Our goal is to get the word out to as many people as possible, and prove to the powers that be, that people all over Kentucky, and the country, are watching and horrified by the allegations of the way Taylor County treats the animals they are supposed to “shelter”.
No matter where you live, help make your concerns known. Let the officials know you are watching and care what happens to the animals in Taylor County. If we see a cruelty or wrong that we have the power to stop, and we do nothing, we make ourselves sharers of the guilt.