Kentucky ranked 50th for animal protection laws, woman seeks change

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- For the tenth year in a row, the Animal Legal Defense Fund ranks Kentucky the worst state for animal protection laws.

"We would love to see Kentucky follow suit and do what most of the states throughout the country are doing now, and pass order protective legislation for animals," Animal Legal Defense Fund Senior Staff Attorney Lora Dunn stated.

A lack of state laws in Kentucky, leaving animals wide open for abuse.

"It's a really important piece for prosecutors to be able to impose penalties that fit the crime," Dunn added.

A depressing national ranking, leaving Bowling Green Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Paula Thorne concerned for those who don't have a voice.

"People don't realize that there's so much that can be done and animals deserve adequate food, water, shelter, veterinary care, just like any person would."

"We don't think about it, but so much animal abuse and animal neglect correlates to human or domestic abuse, child abuse, child neglect. Those kinds of things, usually animals are the first ones neglected," All Cats & Dogs Veterinary Hospital Dr. Thorne mentioned.

But one Kentucky woman is standing up against that correlation, by trying to pass House Bill 143 to protect pets against sexual abuse and extend House Bill 135 to protect pets against torture, through the legislative process.

"I took the two most horrible things that can happen in conjunction with vulnerable humans and put them out there," Dee Robinson, Administrator for Kentucky Citizens Against Animal Abuse & Domestic Violence.

"If we elevate the laws for sexual abuse for domestic pets and torture of domestic pets to a felony status, knowing you can't send a man to jail for what you think he might do, but you surely can elevate the punishment of the crime for what he's done," Robinson stated.

Leaving pet and human welfare advocate Dee Robinson hopeful for her progressive legal action.

"These two bills, if I can get them passed, are something to build on."

"If you torture a pet, or you beat a pet, your actions will have consequences. It will be classified as a felony, and you're not going to get away with it in Kentucky anymore," Robinson added.

According to Dee Robinson, Kentucky State Representative Wesley Morgan will bring in experts to testify in Frankfort on the connection between pet sexual abuse and vulnerable human abuse.

The next step for these house bills is to be heard in the House Judiciary Committee. ​

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