With the wrap up of a Louisville, KY case involving an animal hoarder, the question begs to be asked: “Should persons accused of animal abuse be allowed to keep these animals?” Comments on the news story have ranged from anger, to concern, irritation, and disappointment. The case is not rare; there are many instances in which people have too many animals in deplorable conditions, but Purebred Breeders LLC finds this one rather tragic for many reasons.
It is December 2011 and a mobile home is found somewhere on Kentucky’s Highway 55 located in Henry County with some 200 animals. The owners; Kenneth and Terri Smith, have horses, rabbits, hermit crabs, some 40 cats, and more than 100 dogs. The home is so rundown, yet it houses both the couple and the animals living inside (most lived outdoors though), prompting 200 charges of animal abuse. While Purebred Breeders LLC is sickened by the ordeal the animals had to endure, we must pause and express our condolences to the now widowed Terri Smith whose husband allegedly took his own life shortly after the fine.
Mrs. Smith pleaded guilty to one count of animal abuse and was facing a monetary fine, jail time or house arrest, and the possibility of keeping her two favorite dogs as well as a horse. Her outcome was made known today. Although unclear if she will spend time in jail or under house arrest, it is clear that she will have to pay the county restitution ($9,600), and will get to keep the three animals. The others will be sold by the county to recover a portion of the money she now owns.
What Prompted The Debate
One of the dogs Mrs. Smith wanted to keep is a Spaniel now named Moto by her motorcross-loving foster family. The family; a couple and their three boys, were heartbroken by the news that she had requested to get this particular dog back. Sympathizers who supported their refusal to give her back willingly all weighed in on numerous sites, and Purebred Breeders LLC found that most (if not all) the responses reflected a common theme. The need for better animal protection laws to prevent persons accused of animal abuse from getting them back, as well as laws limiting the number of pets that hoarders are allowed to own.
While we here at Purebred Breeders LLC found some of the responses downright mean since hoarding is in fact a psychological condition that should be treated and not ridiculed.. We also agree that there should be stricter laws governing the treatment of all animals right across the country. We commend states, county, cities, that have made strides in this area, and can only hope that others follow soon.
Good News For Moto
Moto will not be returned to Mrs. Smith, and will instead remain with her foster family for now. She will legally become a part of the family if they have things their way, since the wrapping up of the case clears the way for this to take place. Purebred Breeders LLC wishes everyone involved the very best, and hopes that the other animals will start receiving the love and care they deserve. We also hope Mrs. Smith will receive all the help she needs, especially for the sake of the animals returned to her.