Friday, December 6 2013 1:58 PM EST2013-12-06 18:58:33 GMT
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Unfortunately, authorities say they found several animals dead inside the shelter in Adair County and dozens more may have to be euthanized.
Wednesday afternoon, the Kentucky Humane Society brought back eight dogs in a van.
A dog's face, with its skin covered in mange, represents what officials describe as deplorable conditions at Clean Slate Animal Rescue in Sparksville, in south central Kentucky.
Now, shelter owner David Howery is charged with 295 counts of animal abuse. He pleaded not guilty and has been released from jail.
"I believe what we're looking at here is a lack of understanding. Not necessarily a misunderstanding, but a lack of understanding of the rescue community and the efforts of rescuers," said David Howery, Clean Slate Animal Shelter.
Authorities seized more than 300 animals from his property, dogs, cats, chickens, goats, pigs, donkeys, and a horse. They found many suffering from malnourishment and respiratory problems. The Adair County animal warden says the stench inside the former school building made it hard to breathe.
"The smell in there was awful. He was trying to do a good thing. I think he just got more than he could take care of, you know,"
"A lot of people have a big heart and they love animals. And they want to do what they think is best for them. But sometimes, they can get so overwhelming when they take in hundreds of pets, obviously. Even more than 15 can be an overwhelming number for some people," said Michelle Ray, Kentucky Humane Society.
The Kentucky Humane Society has taken in a mother dog and her six puppies and a Jack Russell terrier with mange. The Humane Society also has brought in a few dozen other adoptable dogs and cats from other Kentucky animal shelters that are now housing the allegedly abused animals.
"I would like to say that I've seen worse, but this tops a lot of the stuff that I've seen. Maybe not the number of animals but the condition of the animals," said Hannah Pepin, Bowling Green-Warren Co. Humane Society.
If you want to help and adopt one or more pets, you can go to the Kentucky Humane Society.