Dying Dog Abandoned in Parking Lot Inspires Push for More Protections for Kentucky's Pets

Kelli Bender
·2 min read

Kentucky Humane Society

Ethan the dog is a survivor and a hero.

On Jan. 29, the emaciated dog was found abandoned in the Kentucky Humane Society's (KHS) parking lot Since then, KHS and Ethan's growing number of online fans have been working to help the dog recover so he can get a second chance at life.

KHS's most recent update on Ethan is a hopeful one. After spending several days at an emergency animal hospital, the dog is back at KHS' facilities receiving care. His appetite and strength are continuing to improve, and he even has enough energy to wag his tail occasionally. KHS remains cautiously optimistic that Ethan will recover and be able to find a new forever home.

According to WHAS11, one Kentucky lawmaker wants to make sure none of the state's pets have to suffer what Ethan has endured. On Jan. 5, State Rep. Chris Freeland (R) introduced House Bill 57 (HB-57), a bill striving to change Kentucky's official definition of animal torture. The bill has 36 sponsors, both Republicans and Democrats, so far, and Freeland is using Ethan's case to push for more support.

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If HB-57 passes, crushing and burning, confining animals to small spaces they cannot escape, and food, water, and shelter deprivation would be added to the state's definition of animal torture. The bill is also seeking to change animal torture from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class D felony.

Kentucky Humane Society

Freeland told WHAS11 these changes would hopefully encourage pet owners to surrender their pets responsibly instead of dumping them without resources, which would be a Class D felony if the bill passes. Ethan's case has pushed Freeland to seek out more support for the bill, and hope for a better tomorrow for all of Kentucky's animals.REALTED:

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"I'm just trying to make sure Kentucky moves up the ladder somewhat on our animal welfare rules. I think right now we're 47th or 49th in the nation, so this is another step to move us in the right direction," Freeland told the outlet, which added that per the 2020 Animal Protection U.S. State Laws Rankings Report, Kentucky is ranked 47th when it comes to state animal protection laws.