Animal welfare supporters rally at Kentucky Statehouse

FRANKFORTY, Ky. (WKYT) - It's a push to help those who can't help themselves. Today animal advocates gathered at the state capitol to ask lawmakers to remember Kentucky's four-legged friends.

Animal rights activists gathered at the state capitol today in hopes legislators heard their voices loud and clear. They call Kentucky's current state laws regarding animal welfare 'embarrassing'.

"It's hard to believe it's already 2016, but we're still living in the dark ages in Kentucky when it comes to animal protection," the rally started off.

"I believe that Kentucky being last in the nation for animal care laws is an embarrassment," Cecilia Mitchell, animal advocate, said. "I would hope our new Governor Bevin would highly object to being last at anything."

Animal advocates won't accept last place.

"If you're a pet owner you should look at your animal as part of your family. We have a responsibility to our pets just as we have a responsibility to our children," Sam Marcus, board president of the Franklin County Humane Society, said.

Animal abuse happens. Marcus sees it. He says it's emotional.

"Personally I think we have to reorient our thinking to looking at animal abuse as a domestic issue, as well as human abuse."

Activists want to stop the neglect, the abuse and the dog fighting.

"Where you have dog fighting you have illegal gambling, you have drug offenses, you have illegal firearms, sometimes prostitution, so it's not just one crime," Cathryn Callahan, Kentucky State Director of HSUS, said.

There are multiple bills working through the Statehouse. Senate Bill 14 is an important one to this group. It's a possession law. Callahan says Kentucky is the only state without one.

Activists are asking Kentuckians to call their state legislators [1(800)-372-7181] and ask them to support bills that support animal welfare.

HB 11: Service animal, lower requirement for assault on
HB 269: To allow veterinarians to release animal welfare information to government authorities
SB 14: Cruelty to animals, involved in fighting activities
SB 53: Danger of death, removal from vehicle, civil immunity
SB 68: Owner defined
SB 116: Prohibition of breed specific ordinances

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