Friday, August 27, 2004

Cameras to monitor dumping of animals



By Cindy Schroeder
Enquirer staff writer

NORTHERN KENTUCKY ANIMAL SHELTERS

Kenton County Animal Shelter

• Hours: Monday, Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Tuesday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Wednesday, and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Closed Sundays and holidays.

• Address: 1020 Mary Laidley Drive off Ky. 17 across from Pioneer Park in Covington

• Information: Shelter: (859) 356-7400; Covington animal control, (859) 292-2292; Kenton County, (859) 356-3191

Campbell County Animal Shelter

• Hours: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Closed Sundays and holidays.

• Address: 1989 Poplar Ridge Road, Camp Springs across from the Saddle Club.

•  Information: Shelter, (859) 635-2819. Call your individual city to check on animal control in that city. The shelter picks up dogs in the unincorporated parts of Campbell County.

Boone County Animal Shelter

• Hours: Monday and Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8 a.m.-6:30 p.m.; Wednesday and Saturdays, 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Closed on Sundays and holidays.

• Address: 5643 Idlewild Road, Burlington

• Information: (859) 586-5285. The shelter also handles animal control.  

COVINGTON - Surveillance cameras will soon be installed outside the Kenton County Animal Shelter in response to a growing number of illegal, after-hours drop-offs of animals.

"In the last couple of years, we've seen an increase in the number of animals abandoned on our property,'' said Shelter Director Dan Evans. "It's almost to the average of one a day.''

Evans said people are leaving animals in the shelter's fenced-in, outdoor exercise yards.

They're also tossing them over a 6-foot-high chain-link fence that was put up to contain animals who escape from the shelter.

In many cases, abandonment has resulted in animals suffering serious injuries or dying a horrible death, Evans said.

Shelter workers arrived at work one morning to find a dead dog hanging from the fence, he said.

Other times, dogs left in outdoor, fenced-in areas attacked one another.

Litters of kittens also have been killed when a dog was dumped in a fenced-in area with them.

"It's a dangerous situation, both for the animals and for shelter employees,'' Evans said.

Signs were posted Thursday prohibiting after-hours trespassing on shelter grounds, Evans said. He also has met with Deputy Judge-executive Scott Kimmich and County Treasurer Ivan Frye to discuss getting surveillance cameras for the shelter's parking lot.

The cameras would be used to capture unauthorized visitors, makes and models of their vehicles and license-plate numbers. "It could be that we have cameras we've used in another area of county government, such as police or jails, that we could use,'' said Kenton County Commissioner Barb Black.

She said she became aware of the problem in recent months after meeting with Evans to discuss a planned adoption center for strays.In one recent case, a Campbell County resident abandoned a vicious dog on shelter grounds who'd bitten someone in the neighboring county, Black said.

"When the health department investigated a bite complaint in Campbell County, (the owner) said it had been left at our shelter,'' Evans said. "The animal was so vicious that it had to be tranquilized before we could handle it.''

Kenton County law prohibits animals from being left more than 48 hours without anyone providing food and water. Animals cannot be left on private property without the owner's consent. The first offense carries a fine of $20 to $500 and/or up to 30 days in the county jail. A second offense carries a fine of $350 to $750.

Under Kentucky law, people who abandon animals can be charged with second-degree animal cruelty. The Class A misdemeanor carries a penalty of a $500 fine and a year in jail.

Beckey Reiter, director of Boone County Animal Control and Care, said that shelter has not had a problem with abandonment because of a tall fence around the grounds.

Lisa Bowman, director of the Campbell County Animal Shelter, said her shelter looked into buying surveillance cameras last year but couldn't afford them.

"I get so many calls about animals that have been abandoned on country roads," Bowman said. "(The animals) get run over, they get attacked by other animals or they simply starve when they wait for their owner to return. If we have to put an animal to sleep at the shelter, at least it's done humanely."

E-mail cschroeder@enquirer.com




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