Man Bites Head Off Bird, Animal Activists Respond

By: Lauren Forsythe Email
By: Lauren Forsythe Email

"All animals are creatures with beating hearts and to create violence like that on an animal is cruelty," Whiteside says.

The video you are viewing shows 29-year-old Bradley Heard of Rockfield biting the head off a baby bird and throwing the head several feet away.

This is the same video the Warren County Attorney viewed before formally charging heard.

On Tuesday, Heard pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges, and was ordered to pay a $500 fine-- a fine Warren County Sheriff's Office Major Tommy Smith says is the maximum penalty.

"The law is kind of vague as far as birds go, it clearly defines dogs and cats. It's specifically mentioned in the statute but that's why there was some confusion," Major Smith says.

"There's a lot of loopholes when it comes to animal advocacy. And a lot of people that are charged with animal cruelty there's usually no follow-through. Kentucky actually comes dead last when it comes to companion animal advocacy," says Barren River Animal Welfare Association Volunteer, Sara Whiteside says

$500 may be the maximum penalty, but Whiteside says those penalties just aren't enough.

"All animals are creatures with beating hearts and to create violence like that on an animal is cruelty," Whiteside says.

Heard was on a porch when he grabbed a bird he says was chirping too loudly and bit the head off.

He told the Warren County Sheriff's Office he was intoxicated.

"We were notified by the Humane Society that the person who shot the video had put it on YouTube," Major Smith says.

Law enforcement agencies and animal activist agree, animal cruelty laws must be strengthened in Kentucky.

Whiteside says activists all over Kentucky are looking to strengthen the state's animal cruelty laws.


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