- Associated Press - Monday, April 6, 2015

RUSSELLVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Logan County officials are trading blame with local animal shelter officials over who is most responsible for shelter conditions a Daily News investigation (https://bit.ly/1FvQOro) found to be “dismal.”

While county Humane Society Director Kathy Maddox agreed that there were “a lot of things wrong with the shelter,” she blamed the problems on a lack of resources.

At a Fiscal Court meeting on March 24, she complained of a truck that need replacing and problems with drainage, the electrical system and water pressure, according to minutes. In an interview later, Maddox said the county refused to fix the facility. She said the heat and air haven’t worked in at least seven months.

Meanwhile, Judge-Executive Logan Chick said the county sends workers to fix air, heat or electrical issues whenever they’re brought up. The county paid to install a new heater during the first cold snap. When the new heater wouldn’t run, Chick said, the maintenance worker found that the shelter was out of fuel.

Maddox also complained of patched kennel gates that dogs have torn through and broken. Chick said the county won’t fix them until the shelter gets overcrowding under control.

Chick has formed a fiscal court committee to discuss the problems. A tour last week of the shelter included Pam Rogers, state director for the Humane Society of the United States, and Lorri Hare, director of the Bowling Green-Warren County Humane Society. Also invited were representatives from Snooty Giggles Dog Rescue in Franklin, Tennessee, which takes in dogs from shelters.

Rogers praised Hare for turning around the Bowling Green facility and operating a model shelter despite modest government support. Hare said she has offered to help the Logan shelter before and would do so again if she got a promise that her recommendations would be implemented. But Chick said he could not make that promise.

Meanwhile, Chick said the shelter appears to be making an effort to improve conditions, including asking Rogers to visit officially. The humane society has posted photos of adoptable dogs on Facebook for the first time since October. It also called for volunteers to help clean the shelter last week ahead of the visit.

Chick said the Fiscal Court committee will attempt to meet weekly in April and May to put together recommendations that could be included in the shelter contract, which is up for renewal in July.

The only way to force a shelter to abide by state standards is for a taxpayer to file a lawsuit.

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Information from: Daily News, https://www.bgdailynews.com

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