Pulaski County got some national attention recently with the raiding of a local puppy mill.
Now local, state, and national animal protection agencies are seeking a commitment from county officials that similar situations will be prevented.
“We have national attention here right now in our county because of this puppy mill situation,” said Cherie Emmons, with the local Love on a Leash and Lake Cumberland Kennel Club. “This is a great opportunity for us as a community to coalesce and do something so that these things don’t happen again.”
It was during the Jan. 28 Pulaski County Fiscal Court meeting that a number of volunteers and administrators with several animal welfare agencies flooded the fiscal courtroom, asking that county officials consider making significant changes to their current animal welfare ordinance in the aftermath of the Jan. 21 seizure of more than 40 animals from the Dream Catchers Kennel, located on Ky.. 196 in Nancy.
The kennel owner, Dennis Bradley, 61, pleaded guilty that same week to one count of second-degree animal cruelty. As part of the deal, Bradley agreed to surrender the dogs at his facility and will face six months in jail, probated for a term of 24 months.
The guilty plea came after more than a year of legal wrangling between Bradley, county officials, and local investigators, who had been called in to investigate the situation after undercover video surfaced that had been taken at the kennel showing dogs being kept in poor conditions.
County officials had stated the county was unable to fund the removal of all the animals before the plea deal was reached because of limited financial resources and space. When animals are seized as part of a criminal case, they must be kept in holding as possible evidence until the case is resolved.
“I’ve talked to a lot of counties about the issues they face regarding animal welfare,” said Kathryn Callahan, a Louisville-based attorney who focuses on animal welfare cases and also sits on the board for a statewide animal protection organization called the Arrow Fund.