67 of 120 counties flout law
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2002:
WEBBVILLE, Ky.–Trixie Foundation founder and no-kill
shelter operator Randy Skaggs set out in 1996 to investigate county
compliance with state anti-rabies vaccination and dog pound
requirements, dating respectively to 1955 and 1958.
After obtaining and tabulating three years worth of data–and
suing 70 counties to get it, with the help of In Defense of Animals
and the Animal Protection Institute– Skaggs in late January 2002
published a report that seems to tell as much about the state of
civic concern and participatory democracy in Kentucky as about the
plight of dogs.
Only 52 of the 120 Kentucky counties–43%– were fully in
compliance with the statutes. Forty-six counties–38%–were clearly
not in compliance, usually because they have no dog pound.
Twenty-one counties did not respond to Skaggs’ repeated information
Five counties “subverted the intent of the [Kentucky] Open
Records Act, short of denial of inspection,” by trying to charge
Skaggs excessive fees for photocopying, Kentucky assistant attorney
general Amye L. Bensenhaver wrote in a series of official opinions
delivered on October 29, 2001.
Six counties admitted shooting dogs, including Rockastle
County, where the dog warden shot 822 of the 840 dogs he picked up
in the most recent fiscal year. But Rockastle County and Bracken
County were among the handful of counties that moved toward
compliance with Kentucky state law after Skaggs drew attention to
The Rockastle county attorney “was so excited,” Skaggs
wrote, “that he called me to express elation, and told me how he
and the county judge-executive pleaded and begged and cajoled to get
the rest of the county fiscal court to agree to do something. Then
they sent me photos of the construction” of their new shelter, to
substantiate their progress.