Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Student-led study examines conditions of county animal shelters in Ky.; 82% in violation of laws

Nearly half of Kentucky's animal shelters are in violation of three or more laws and 82 percent are in violation of at least one law, says a study conducted by college students at the Lincoln Memorial University College of Veterinary Medicine, located just across the border in Harrogate, Tenn. Supervised by professors from the University of Kentucky, the students visited Kentucky's 90 county-run animal shelters to see how they complied with the Kentucky Humane Shelter Act of 2004. (Map shows results of study; click on it for a larger version)

Shelters were given high marks for providing food, water, lighting, protection from weather and maintaining records. Most shelters were open 24 hours, posted hours and provided proper heat and ventilation. While 80 percent provided adequate space for animals, overcapacity was a problem, with 73 percent not having adequately sized shelters. Also, 42 percent lacked quarantine areas, 23 percent failed to accommodate cats, 37 percent of cat areas were deemed poor quality and 82 percent didn't have areas for large animals or livestock.

Researchers found the biggest problems were lack of funding and education and an inconsistent volunteer and workforce. Also, a lack of spray/neuter programs, cat overpopulation and low local adoption rates. Many facilities also were found to be in inadequate shape, with obvious signs of mold and one shelter that used a laundry room for overflow space, with a door that had been chewed by a dog and not fixed or replaced. Other problems were: a lack of veterinarian care; no safe area for puppies; unclean conditions; and unsafe night drop-offs.

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