Spencer County kennel accused of animal abuse, again

TAYLORSVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Animal lovers across the country are taking to Facebook, outraged by pictures allegedly taken at a Spencer County kennel.

Photos circulating on social media show dogs chained up, appearing to lack adequate shelter and nutrition. The person behind the photos says the images come out of Kev-Lar Kennels in Mt. Eden.

The owner of Kev-Lar Kennels, Laura Pope, did not respond to a request for comment.

In 2004, Pope was charged with 85 counts of animal cruelty. Months later, she her dogs were returned. Pope and her partner, Kevin Bailey, continue to breed dogs on the same property in Mt. Eden.

The images posted on social media sites are once again raising concern about Pope's breeding practices.

According to a Spencer County ordinance, dogs must be given adequate shelter from inclement weather and precipitation, including insulated bedding materials during weather extremes. The ordinance also prohibits continuous chaining of dogs.

According to county officials, Spencer County Judge Executive Bill Karrer and Officer Nolan Bryant with K-9 Rescue and Enforcement visited Pope's property last week and re-issued her a kennel license.

WDRB cameras caught up with Bryant at Spencer County Animal Control Sunday. He said the dogs on Pope's property appeared to be well-fed, clean, and living in frequently manicured areas.

"Do I personally have an issue with all the dogs? Yes, but unfortunately the county doesn't say she can't have that many dogs," Bryant told reporter Courtney Godfrey as cameras were rolling.

Bryant said if they (county officials) felt Pope was in violation of county ordinances, it wouldn't be up to him to cite her.

"The judge went out himself and looked and didn't have a problem with it," said Bryant. "It's up to the judge and the county attorney. If they say 'this is what we need to fix' then that's what we'll tell her to fix."

WDRB reached out to Judge Executive Karrer and did not receive a response by news time.

The non-profit organization, No Kill Louisville, said they have received a number of phone calls and emails regarding the photos.

"At minimum the conditions are not adequate," said Jeremy Ficklin.

Ficklin said, if indeed Pope is in violation of current laws--and those laws aren't being enforced--Kentucky has a bigger problem.

"Unless that part of the problem is addressed, it's not going to get fixed," said Ficklin. "This will get shut down because of public opinion, and in a year, the next one gets a license and we're fighting the same battle."

Neither Pope nor Bailey have been charged.

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