Dale Boyd and girlfriend Leslie Johnson, owners of 26 dogs taken from an Olmstead home Friday March 1 for alleged neglect, have agreed to voluntarily surrender 14 of their animals to the Logan County Humane Society.
The couple came into the office of Logan County Attorney Joe Ross last Thursday and signed a release form turning over 14 dogs living outside their home. However, the couple says they want to keep 12 of the dogs that were living inside.
Boyd and Johnson were both charged last week with 26 counts each of cruelty to animals, second degree.
According to KRS 525.130, the couple 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.
The Humane Society contacted authorities on Thursday, Feb. 28, after receiving a tip there were numerous dogs that looked as if they were starving at the home of Boyd and Johnson. Logan County Animal Control Officer Travis Kodiak responded to the tip, and after investigating, found enough evidence to return with deputies of the Logan County Sheriff’s Department along with the Logan County Humane Society, to take the dogs into custody.
Dogs were being kept inside the home as well as in an enclosed area around the back and side. One dog was found tied to a large chain several feet from the house. There were two sets of puppies living inside the home, along with their mothers and a aggressive pit bull. It is believed that two of the outside dogs are pregnant.
The dogs were taken to the Logan County Animal Shelter where they have been evaluated, fed, watered and given medical attention. Because the dogs are so weak, said Humane Society director Kathy Maddox, some medical attention is having to wait until they are stronger. Two of the dogs have tested positive for heartworm, a serious and potentially fatal condition caused by parasitic worms living in the arteries of the lungs and occasionally in the right side of the heart of dogs. Maddox said many of the dogs are anemic as well.
“Although Mr. Boyd and Ms. Johnson have agreed to release a portion of their dogs, the Humane Society will not be satisfied until all of the animals are allowed to find new homes,” said Maddox. “It is very apparent the owners were not taking care of even the basic needs of their dogs. The Humane Society cannot not condone, nor support returning any of the 26 animals.”
Maddox said even though Boyd and Johnson have surrendered 14 of the dogs, the society will not be moving them out of the shelter anytime soon.
“They are to unhealthy to adopt out at this time,” said Maddox. “We are still feeding them slowly and are waiting for the veterinarians to complete more tests. We have to wait until they are healthy enough to receive medical attention before we can even think about them leaving for new homes.”
Maddox said the community has been very supportive and donations have been coming in to help care for the 26 dogs.
“Our mission as a Humane Society is to provide a safe haven for animals, serve as an advocate, end animal overpopulation and educate the public about compassion and responsibility towards all animals,” said Maddox. “How would we be doing our job if we supported returning any of these 26 dogs to their previous owners?”
Boyd and Johnson are scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday, March 13 at 1 p.m. at the Logan County Justice Center.