Animal Control weekend response rules changed after abused puppies found

MCCRACKEN COUNTY, KY — Miranda Shafer has always cared about animals. Her family has dogs, chickens, pigs, and even a horse. She was one of the people who found the three puppies near Metropolis Ferry Landing Sunday afternoon.

Two of the puppies were abused. The third was dead inside a trash bag. Miranda says she called Animal Control and was told, because of a new county rule, they are unable to respond to calls on weekends. “They couldn’t come out to the scene, because they’re not allowed to go on call, or whatever, for that stuff,” says Miranda.

Alexis Shafer, Miranda’s sister, says they didn’t want to leave the dead puppy in the woods for Animal Control to get on Monday. They decided to take it home. “I was kind of nervous, because, like, you know it’s a little dead puppy in the back of my car,” says Alexis. “It was heartbreaking.”

That rule reduced overtime hours for Animal Control workers. On weekends, they could only go out on calls involving animal violence and attacks. McCracken County Judge Executive Craig Clymer says that is because overtime for those workers is expensive.

But, because Animal Control was unable to respond when the abused puppies were found Sunday, he says the county is changing the rule to allow them to respond to animal abuse cases. If an Animal Control worker is unsure about whether they can respond in an incident, he says he can help them in their decision making.

“Use some discretion, or call me and my deputy,” says Clymer. “Say ‘I’ve got this situation that doesn’t fit within what the orders are, but do you want us to go?'”

Clymer says the updated rules will allow them to help more animals and fit within the budget. Animal Control personnel will be able to respond to animal bites, violent animals, and abuse cases while on overtime.