Animal Lovers Rally for Better Laws

Melissa Barlow Published:

Today, Thursday, February 14th, Valentine’s Day, was also a day to show some love to animals at the Humane Lobby Day at the state capital in Frankfort, Ky. The event was sponsored by both the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the Association for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Animals and animal advocates turned out by the hundreds to lobby their legislators to support and pass stronger animal welfare laws in the state.

Romeo, pictured above, was tortured as a puppy by his owner. He was rescued luckily. However, his owner got off lightly because there was no felony animal cruelty law at the time. Romeo was the inspiration for the current felony law on the books. Despite the passage of that law several years ago, Ky remains last in the nation for animal cruelty laws.

Rep. Ron Crimm, who sponsored KB 235, dealing with animal forfeiture, spoke to the crowd. He said “there are enough black eyes in Kentucky without the inhumane treatment of animals.”

Representatives of Louisville Metro Animal Services (LMAS) shared information from various cruelty cases they have handled, including the story of Seraphina, a female mastiff who was found with her skin peeling off. The dog had to be euthanized. Tests determined that she had been covered in battery acid. A reward for a suspect was offered by HSUS, but the perpetrator has never been apprehended.

During this session, HB 195, dealing with animals in domestic violence classes, HB 235, dealing with animal forfeiture, and HB 364, which would prevent gas chambers in shelters, have been filed by Reps. Crimm and Jenkins, respectively. None of these bills, if passed, would create any extra cost to taxpayers. However, none of the bills have even been called for hearing in committee yet.

Animal lovers are urged to call the legislative hotline at 1-800-372-7181 Mon-Fri between 7-6 to ask Rep. Tilley to call HB 195 and HB 235 for hearing in Judiciary and to ask Rep. McKee to call HB 364 for hearing in Agriculture. Also please ask your legislators to support the measures, which would benefit animals and people.

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