Kentucky - Improve Your Record Of Abhorrent Animal Treatment

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Despite being the state most known for its horses, Kentucky maintains the worst record for animal safety


For the last decade, the Animal Legal Defense Fund [1] has placed Kentucky at the bottom of its list of Animal Protection Laws Rankings, making it the worst state for animal rights in the entire United States. Despite the dubious honor, state regulators seem unwilling to put protections in place. Apart from inadequately defining standards of care, the state lets those who neglect or abandon animals off without a felony, and won't restrict those offenders from owning animals in the future. Animal fighting laws are not specifically defined, and veterinarians in Kentucky are prohibited from reporting animal cruelty or signs of fighting.

It's the sad truth that the state best known for its horses does so little to protect them.

All told, the plight of an animal in the Bluegrass State is far from hopeful. Ironically, one of the United States most successful models borders Kentucky to the east. Illinois, according to the American Veterinarian [2], connects all types of animal neglect, abuse, fighting, sexual assault, abandonment or other mistreatment to felony charges. And, unlike Kentucky, the laws apply to a majority of animals, not just domesticated pets.

Those found guilty of killing animals in Kentucky often face no more than a fine, with a maximum 5 years behind bars for the most heinous crimes. Abuse cases are treated with much less interest, only warranting a misdemeanor.

Global Animal [3] reports that more than half of American states and territories have improved their oversight of animal protection, but Kentucky refuses to budge. As neighboring states and civilized countries around the world are redoubling their consideration for animals, Kentucky remains mired in an outmoded complacency that promotes a cycle of suffering and abuse.

The sustained ignorance of animal rights in the Commonwealth of Kentucky is being reinforced by those in its capital city, and it's time they were sent a message. Sign to tell the Kentucky Departments of Agriculture and Fish & Wildlife, and Governor of Kentucky that animal protections need to be improved in Kentucky immediately, and stricter penalties enforced against those who hurt any animals!

MORE ABOUT THIS ISSUE

[1] Animal Legal Defense Fund, (2017, Jan.) 2016 U.S. Animal Protection Laws Rankings. Retrieved June 9, 2017 from http://aldf.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Rankings-Report-2016-ALDF.pdf

[2] Kerry Lengyel (2017, Jan. 13) Kentucky: Ranked Worst State for Animal Safety. Retrieved June 9, 2017 from http://www.americanveterinarian.com/news/kentucky-ranked-worst-state-for-animal-safety

[3] Michael K (2011, Dec. 15) KENTUCKY IS THE WORSTÂ…LITERALLY. Retrieved June 9, 2017 from http://www.globalanimal.org/2011/12/15/kentucky-is-the-worst-literally/60894/

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The Petition:

Dear Kentucky Departments of Agriculture and Fish & Wildlife, and Governor Matt Bevin,

It is sad to see a state so well known for its beautiful horses lack any substantial protections for their safety.

For the tenth year in a row, Kentucky has failed to improve its meager considerations for animal rights in the form of any reasonable legislation, despite other states, and countries around the world, showing successful models.

Bordering Kentucky to the Northeast, Illinois connects all types of animal neglect, abuse, fighting, sexual assault, abandonment or other mistreatment to felony charges. And, unlike Kentucky, the laws apply to a majority of animals, not just domesticated cats and dogs.

Apart from properly defining standards of care, Kentucky needs to strengthen the penalties for those who neglect or abandon animals, and restrict those offenders from owning animals in the future. Animal fighting laws should also be specifically defined, and all veterinarians in the state allowed to report signs of animal cruelty or fighting.

There are many other rules Kentucky could establish to protect its animals properly, but these are a good start. I implore you to take action immediately, and adopt these laws as a matter of common decency.

Sincerely,

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Signatures: