Agriculture Commissioner looking into Taylor County Animal Shelt - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Agriculture Commissioner looking into Taylor County Animal Shelter

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CAMPBELLSVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- A WDRB report has led Kentucky's Agriculture Commissioner to investigate a troubled animal shelter in Taylor County.

It's not just the care for dogs and cats that's being questioned now -- James Comer wants to know if the shelter misused your tax money. 

Comer explains, "We are going down there and determining exactly what's going on because we're getting conflicting data and conflicting reports."

Comer says he was deeply troubled when pictures surfaced of conditions inside the Taylor County animal shelter.  That comes one day after a mass protest and rescue effort at the Campbellsville shelter.

Animal welfare groups say the shelter is a breeding ground for diseases and pets are dying.  "We are not closing, but we will be come a holding facility," says Taylor Co. Judge-Executive Eddie Rogers.

New plans are to contract out and transfer dogs and cats to an undetermined county after one day.  But that idea drew even more criticism because the shelter just opened last month.  It was funded by a 150,000 grant from the Department of Agriculture.

Comer says, "We consider a shelter a shelter, and if they received grant dollars to have an animal shelter to be able to make animals up for adoption, then that's what they're supposed to do."

WDRB's Gilbert Corsey pressed Judge-Executive Rogers about the funding when he announced the shelter's change last week.  When he asked whether the intention of the grant was to open a shelter only for it to cease operation of the shelter as-is, he said it was not.

County Attorney John Bertram maintains, "If the county becomes obligated to do something in regards to the grant money, the county will do it."

And Comer insists, "If they're not meeting their terms then we will go back and try to recover 100 percent of the taxpayers' money."

It may not be that simple, however, according to Comer:  "This is one of many incidents where we have had to backtrack legal agreements from the previous administration."

So it comes down to what's in the contract.  Comer says if the shelter's in breach, he could force the county to keep it open or have the $150,000 returned to the state.  "We're going to go in there and clean it up," he says.

Comer plans to go to Taylor County to see the animal shelter and how it's operating.  He says he would like to make a decision on its future in the coming week.

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