NOT QUITE READY FOR PRIME TIME…
LAWRENCE CO., KY. JUDGE/EXECUTIVE PHILLIP L. CARTER HAS OPENED HIS OWN ANIMAL SHELTER ON POORHOUSE ROAD, NEAR THE COUNTY GARBAGE DUMP. DOGS ARE ALREADY BEING HOUSED DESPITE A BARE BUILDING AND NO SUPERVISION.
CLICK ON PICTURE ABOVE TO HEAR THE ANIMALS ALREADY BEING HOUSED IN CARTER’S DOG HOUSE YELPING.
By Susan Salyer
SMOKEY VALLEY, KY. — On Tuesday May 2, 2023 the Lazer contacted Leonika Allen at the Lawrence County Humane Society, who owns and operates as the Open Arms Humane Shelter, about a dispute with the LC Judge Phil Carter and Animal Warden Jessica Perry.
News spread fast this week after it was made public the county government will no longer be a sponsor of the Open Arms Animal Shelter on Isaac Park Rd. The Lawrence Co. Humane Society, which operates Open Arms, has severed contact with the fiscal court over disputes about the operation of the shelter. The county will reportedly stop paying just over $1,800 per month it has been ‘donating’ to the shelter.
“When we met with Judge Carter we went as two representatives of the Humane Society Board of Directors,” Ms. Allen explained to The Lazer. “All decisions that were made to sever our relationship with the County was made by the Board, not one individual.”
“We just want to move on and hopefully it will be better for everyone involved, Ms. Allen said.
It is not known at this time if the county has followed state procedure or if the shelter is to be a ‘no kill’ facility as is Open Arms.
According to internet records Carter’s will be the third animal shelter in/near Lawrence County along with Trixie Foundation Animal Shelters, 1167 Kennel Creek Ln, Webbville, KY 41180. The Webbville shelter is actually located in Elliot County but very near Lawrence County.
Leonika Allen told The Lazer she would make a post on the website for Lawrence County Humane Society, later in the day yesterday and she did. Her comment was posted on the Open Arms Animal Shelter Facebook and provided for everyone to read around 5PM. It is reprinted below.
The Lazer has attempted several times to get a comment from LC Judge Executive Phil Carter, but no comment has been received yet. We will post the comment as soon as we get it.
Open Arms Animal Shelter official Leonika Allen statement:
“…Many or most of you have heard about the county setting up a shelter off Rt 32 in LOUISA. After much discussion and with sadness, the Humane Society has terminated our relationship with the County effective May 1, 2023. The letter states our reasons why. We are still a functioning shelter and we plan to stay that way. Just a new path!
We thank everyone for your support past and present as we try to care for the voiceless animals in our county. Please reach out if you need assistance!
Thank you! Leonika Allen…”
“…With much sadness and a heavy heart, the Lawrence County Humane Society is announcing effective May 1, 2023, the Open Arms Animal Shelter will no longer be the shelter for the Lawrence County Fiscal Court.
You may wonder why we made this decision. In February, we found out the County had set up a shelter in the voting building at the entrance to the county garage on Highway 32. The County did not tell us. We heard it from a cashier at Walmart. We contacted the Judge’s office for clarification and were told by the Assistant Judge Executive it was for overflow when the Open Arms shelter was full.
We set up a meeting with Judge Carter to discuss this at that meeting, we were told we didn’t know how to run a shelter, we were always full and couldn’t take animals when animal control wanted to bring them, we had been a problem since the day we opened our doors and that all we do is ask for money on Facebook.
At that time, Animal Control had brought us 2 hounds with broken pelvises, a pregnant dog almost hairless from mange who vet said not to treat until pups were bor and weaned, a dog with nerve damage to his head, 2 dogs with ringworm and mange which are contagious conditions meaning they could not leave until cleared. All of these took a month or more to clear so they could leave the shelter, not to mention more vet bills.
Judge Carter asked us to write a proposal to address his concerns. We had a second meeting with him and presented a proposal for the county to help fund the cat shelter, giving the county access to TR grant money and room to accommodate more cats, and we would go on our own with the dogs. We told the county at that time we had room at the shelter for dogs and cats and it seemed like the county was willing to work together.
Since the last meeting, there has been little communication. Any communication has been on our end. We have contacted the County Judge and the Animal Control Officer several times and told them we had room available. We received no response or an OK.
Early on, the county brought us 3 hounds which had been in their shelter for a month and no animals have been brought to us since. We were told if we don’t bring animals to you, we aren’t paying you, even though we have taken several animals from the citizens of Lawrence County after they called us saying they got no response from the County or County told them they were full.
We have provided animal sheltering services to the Lawrence County Fiscal Court for 29 years. During this time, we have worked with several County Judge Executives, Animal Control Officers and Magistrates. For the past 29 years, we have received $1833.34 dollars a month with which we were expected to operate the shelter, pay the bills, employ workers and do maintenance on the buildings and property. In 2022, it took almost $130,000 to operate the shelter and this would have not been possible had we not received the support of our local community, rescue partners and individuals from all over the country. Thank you for always supporting us and trusting us to take care of the unwanted animals in this county.
During these 29 years, we received an average of six hundred animals per year. That is approximately 17,000 animals that were treated humanely and given another chance for a better life. We not only helped the animals in this county but we also helped many people. We helped individuals with veterinarian bills and helped spay and neuter personal pets where people were not able pay for these
services. There was barely enough to keep the shelter running and many times we as individuals helped our citizens.
We are very lucky to have as one of our volunteers, Bev Pack, who has tirelessly advocated for the people and cats of Lawrence County. In 2016, she wrote for the first grant to help the cats and people in the county. 1318 cats have been spayed or neutered through the voucher program. These vouchers are for individuals that have cats in Lawrence County. 904 Trap and Release cats have been fixed and relocated to places where they are fed and now live in safety, including 30-40 cats residing at the shelter. Bev Pack continues to apply for grants to help the animals of Lawrence County. We thank her for all she has accomplished.
We are still a functioning shelter with animals in our care. It is in our best interest to move on from this partnership due to lack of respect and communication. We will continue to take animals from Lawrence County citizens.
We will need to make up the $1833.34 a month we will no longer receive from the County. We appreciate everyone’s past support and hope you will continue to stand with us and support us so we can continue to help the voiceless animals of Lawrence County…”