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McCracken shelter has problems that news story overlooked

By PAM ROGERS Kentucky State Director for The Humane Society of the United States

EDITOR:

Contrary to McCracken County Judge-Executive Van Newberry's statement in the Jan. 19 Paducah Sun, my organization seeks to enhance and save the lives of all the county's animals ("Shelter feeling growing pains in second year"). The McCracken County Animal Shelter is in great need of significant upgrades to its facility and operating policies and procedures. We provided recommendations for immediate changes and improvements necessary to achieve this goal. We did not call for euthanasia as a solution. In fact, one of The Humane Society of the United States' stated goals is to end euthanasia of healthy, treatable pets.

The article cites our report on the shelter, but missed key findings, including the discovery of one dog who appeared emaciated and apparently was suffering the effect of illness and injury. In the report we implored the shelter to provide the dog with immediate veterinary treatment and appropriate housing. Under Kentucky law, suffering animals may not simply be permitted to languish.

The Paducah Sun also missed or misstated other key findings of the report, including errors in the shelter's current vaccination protocol and inadequate levels of veterinary care.

The report was intended to help the shelter make positive changes in the housing and care of the animals they receive, and to bring the facility up to state standards immediately so that it becomes a place of humane animal care and lifesaving that the people and animals of McCracken County deserve. We hope that county officials will use it for that purpose.

PAM ROGERS

Kentucky State Director for

The Humane Society of the United States

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