Criminal complaint reveals conditions inside animal hoarding house

McCracken County detectives are calling the animal hoarding conditions inside Deborah Luken’s home “unsanitary.” A criminal complaint issued Thursday said there was feces and urine all over the floors, and some animals were covered in feces.

Animal Control Officer Chryss George said Luken didn’t have the space or resources to care for the birds, dogs, ducks and rabbits. “She had good intentions, but it became way too much for her,” George told Local 6.

Even the smell became too much for some of the dogs. George said many were exposed to ammonia from the urine, which caused burns on their paws and stomach. “The ammonia in the urine can cause bad respiratory issues. That’s why we had to wear the masks going in,” she said.

Luken faces a misdemeanor. McCracken County Sheriff’s Sgt. David Shepherd said these cases typically don’t warrant an arrest, but a summons to appear in court. “To my knowledge, I’m not sure we’ve had any arrests in recent past for charges with these type of circumstances,” he said. 

Local 6 visited Luken’s home today, but no one answered. Shepherd said she’s cooperating with the investigation. “Some people can get involved in trying to help and do the right things for a particular cause or situation, and it becomes more than they have the facilities to take care of,” Shepherd said.

“I’m very pleased with how she has worked with us from the very beginning. I know it’s been very difficult for her,” George said.

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