More than 100 pets taken from Kentucky shelter; police find dead animals in freezer

More than 100 animals rescued from Kentucky shelter

MOREHEAD, Ky. (WKYT/Gray News) - The Trixie Foundation in Elliott County was advertised as heaven on Earth for pets, but more than 100 animals were pulled from the shelter this weekend, WKYT reported.

State police have cited its founder, Randy Skaggs, for 12 counts of not meeting requirements for disposing of dead animals. Several dead dogs and cats were found in the facility’s freezer, according to an Associated Press report. More charges are pending.

Over the weekend 104 dogs and four cats were rescued from the Trixie Foundation. Some are in better shape than others. One couldn’t even stand up.

“She is beyond filthy. She is matted. She has advanced, advanced dental disease. It looks like her jaw is literally rotting out. She is blind and she is deaf, and she is caked with mud, so this little one has been laying there, waiting to die,” said animal advocate Julia Sharp, explaining the condition of one of the dogs she’s rescued.

Sharp said Skaggs has managed the Trixie Foundation for 30 years. Questions about his treatment of the animals have surrounded him during that time.

“Justice would be him in jail for the rest of his life,” Sharp said.

She said this is just one example of a statewide issue. Kentucky has in the past been ranked the worst state for animal protection laws for 12 years by the US Animal Legal Defense Fund. Sharp said she won't give up fighting to make the state a safer place for pets.

"I have taken dogs so many times out of rescue, out of horrible conditions, and they get a slap on the wrist and nobody monitors this, and so it's got to change. It's got to change. This can't happen again," Sharp said.

Still, advocates say that's why it's so important that Sharp and others at TLC Rescue are there. Now they need fosters to step up and help give these animals a second chance.

Skagg, who faces trial in June for misdemeanor animal cruelty charges from 2018, said he neglected to bury the animals because of the heavy shelter workload, the Associated Press reported. He was not arrested and said he plans on fighting all charges against him.

Copyright 2020 WKYT via Gray Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.