As of Thursday, charges were filed against two owners of 26 dogs rescued at an Olmstead home last week. The dogs, who were taken into custody by the Logan County Humane Society, with the help of the Logan County Sheriff’s Department and Animal Control, were found to be severely malnourished and in need of medical treatment.
Dale Boyd and Leslie Johnson have been charged with 26 counts each of cruelty to animals, second degree. According to the Kentucky Revised Statute (KRS 525.130), Boyd and Johnson allegedly caused cruel or injurious mistreatment through failing to provide adequate food, drink, or health care, and subjected animals in their custody to cruel neglect.
Cruelty to animals in the second degree is a Class A misdemeanor with a fine up to $500 and/or imprisonment up to 12 months. County Attorney Joe Ross will be prosecuting the case.
“I have been in close contact with the sheriffs department and the Logan County Humane Society and have looked at all the issues that may come up in this case. There are several things in this case that will require me to put this on the court docket as quickly as possible. Based upon the allegation and the number of dogs involved, my office will be taking the matter very seriously,” said Ross.
The Humane Society contacted authorities last week after receiving a tip telling of a home on Kenny Stratton Road in Olmstead that appeared to house numerous dogs looking as if they were starving. Animal Control Officer Travis Kodiak responded to the complaint at the residence of Boyd and Johnson.
When Kodiak arrived at the residence, he saw several dogs that look malnourished on the outside of the home, and could also tell there were several dogs barking on the inside of the home. He could not, however, get anyone to come to the door, so he returned later with a sheriff’s deputy, only to find the front door had been padlocked.
The sheriff’s department contacted Boyd and returned to the residence a day later to take the dogs. Boyd claims he had been feeding the dogs everyday, but that he and his girlfriend both work. He said dogs lose weight in the winter time and get fatter in the summer. He said he and his girlfriend planned on fighting to keep their dogs.
Boyd also claims he contacted the humane society months ago to take the dogs, but said he was told they had no room. Humane Society Director Kathy Maddox disputes his claim saying the Society would never have turned away someone who said they could not feed their dogs.
“Although we are not required to take in owner released dogs, we do so when we have room. If we do not have room, we tell them we can try to get their pet on a rescue and to come back on a certain time. We would never turn anyone away if we suspected they could not care for their animal,” said Maddox. The Society took in 261 owner released dogs in 2012.
Dogs were being kept inside the residence and in an enclosed area around the back and side of the residence. One dog was found tied to a large chain several feet from the residence. There were two sets of puppies found inside the residence, along with their mothers and two other dogs. Maddox said she believes two of the outside dogs are pregnant as well.
The dogs were taken to the Logan County Animal Shelter where they were evaluated, fed, watered and given medical attention. The feeding process was slow said Maddox.
“We couldn’t just start feeding them because they were so hungry that over feeding could actually kill them,” said Maddox. When they were fed, the dogs fought amongst themselves trying to get to the several bowls laid out for them.
“It was very apparent, these dogs hadn’t eaten in some time. They tried to gorge themselves,” said Maddox. “This is a very severe case of neglect. They had so many dogs and it is obvious they were not being taken care of. You can tell it by looking at them. Their ribs and pelvic bones were almost poking through their skin.”
Local veterinarian Dr. Jon Todd has been volunteering his assistance to help the rescued dogs. The dogs have received their 7-1 vaccinations from Todd’s office and are undergoing tests. Two have already tested positive for heart worm. Treatment cannot begin until they are healthier, however. “They are very anemic,” said Maddox.
Both Boyd and Johnson are scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday, March 13 at 1 p.m. in district court.