Unintentional Equine Neglect and Abuse: A Concern in Kentucky
The Kentucky Equine Networking Association (KENA) welcomed a diverse range of attendees to its November meeting, one of the largest of 2018. Focused on understanding the process of prosecuting equine neglect and abuse cases in Kentucky, as well as the roadblocks organizations assisting with these cases often encounter, the room was full of horse owners, riders, and enthusiasts.
Speakers included Lt. Jai Hamilton, a certified humane investigator with Lexington-Fayette Animal Care and Control; Jacque Mayer, assistant county attorney for the Fayette County Attorney’s Office; and Karen Gustin, executive director of the Kentucky Equine Humane Center, in Nicholasville.
Before delving into her role in equine neglect cases, Hamilton shared some statistics so the audience could better understand how her department operates. In Lexington, there are 11 animal control officers for a city with 321,000 residents, and about 1,600 welfare cases reported each year, she said. Most animal cruelty complaints her department receives arise from unintentional neglect and, because of this, Hamilton said her department has two goals: to educate clients and raise the animal’s standard of
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