The Humane Society of the United States is proud to honor three Kentucky law enforcement agencies with 2020 Humane Law Enforcement Awards. As part of a multiagency effort, these groups pursued Kentucky’s first conviction on bestiality charges since passage of a 2019 state law making sexual crimes against an animal a felony.

The agencies and individuals that received the award were: the Maysville Police Department, the Boone County Sheriff’s Office and Assistant Attorney General Rewa Zakharia with the Office of Attorney General.

Last November, two individuals pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual crimes against an animal and two counts of torture of a dog. The investigation spanned several counties and involved collaboration across multiple agencies.

The recipients of the 2020 Humane Law Enforcement Awards include officers who have taken an exemplary stand against animal cruelty. The HSUS works diligently nationwide to enact laws that protect all animals, and this work is most effective with the support of law enforcement.

“We are proud to present 2020 Humane Law Enforcement Awards to this group of officers,” says Todd Blevins, Kentucky state director for the Humane Society of the United States. “We are grateful to the Kentucky General Assembly for its leadership in outlawing the sexual abuse of animals in 2019 and appreciate the tireless work of all those involved in this landmark case.”

“The Maysville Police Department takes all crimes seriously and we support the bestiality law in Kentucky. Because of that law, we were able to investigate this case and were proud to be the first to do so,” says Lt. Chris Conley for the Maysville Police Department.

“We would like to thank the HSUS for this honor. We were proud to be able to assist the Maysville Police Department and Office of the Attorney General to help bring a speedy resolution to this groundbreaking case,” says Boone County Sheriff Michael A. Helmig.

“I want to thank the HSUS for this generous recognition. Their assistance, along with the Maysville Police Department and Boone County Sheriff’s Office, was essential for the successful prosecution of this case. We at the Attorney General’s office are committed to upholding the law and prosecuting those who engage in crimes of this nature,” says Zakharia.

The Humane Society of the United States is proud to collaborate with law enforcement who are making our communities safer for animals and people. To that end, we partner with officials across the country on a wide array of investigations, trainings and legislation. Our work with law enforcement officials touches upon the entire spectrum of the justice system, from sheriffs to prosecutors to offices of attorneys general.

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