February 15, 2011
Animal Advocates Lobby Kentucky Lawmakers for Animal Welfare Legislation
Animal advocates from across the state will rally today at the state capitol in Frankfort to urge their legislators to enact stronger animal protection laws. The event is sponsored by The Humane Society of the United States and the Kentucky Animal Welfare Alliance. At the event, citizen advocates will urge their legislators to strengthen laws related to increasing protections for dogs and penalties for cruelty offenders.
The day starts at 10 a.m., followed by a press conference and rally at 1 p.m. in the Capitol Rotunda. Bill sponsors and other supportive legislators are scheduled to speak along with the leaders of a variety of animal welfare groups from across the state. Also attending will be several special canine guests who survived horrific abuse and now serve as ambassadors for enhancing Kentucky’s animal protection laws.
"Kentucky’s animal protection laws rank near the bottom," said Pam Rogers, The HSUS’ Kentucky state director. "This day is an opportunity for animal advocates throughout the state to come together and let their legislators know they are very concerned about the overall status of animal welfare in our state."
The 2011 legislation includes:
Shelter for a Dog: HB 156, sponsored by Rep. Joni Jenkins, D-Shively, amends the animal cruelty statutes to define "shelter" and establish shelter and shade requirements for dogs. The current cruelty statutes require food, water, space, and health care, but no shelter. This bill precisely defines what constitutes shelter for a dog: a structure that allows the dog to maintain body heat during below-freezing weather and provides shade during extreme heat. A precise definition is easy for owners to understand and for animal control and other peace officers to enforce. Each year, hundreds of dogs suffer and die as a result of extreme temperatures.
Forfeiture and Bonding: HB 157, also sponsored by Rep. Jenkins, requires a defendant to post a security deposit for animal care in cruelty-confiscation cases. This allows the court system to put financial burden of animal care on a defendant instead of county governments. This can mean significant taxpayer savings in confiscations with large numbers of animals.
Forfeiture and Protection Against Future Ownership: HB 56, sponsored by Rep. Ron Crimm, R-Louisville, requires defendants found guilty of cruelty to animals to forfeit ownership of the animal and prohibits future ownership for two years.
Find out more about pending Kentucky legislation.
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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization—backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty—on the web at humanesociety.org.