Case Snapshot
Case ID: 19291
Classification: Hoarding
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Person(s) in animal care
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Tuesday, Feb 14, 2012

County: Graves

Charges: Misdemeanor
Disposition: Alleged
Case Images: 9 files available

Alleged: Shannon Lacewell

Case Updates: 3 update(s) available

The Graves County Sheriff's Department along with the Animal Rescue Corps, served a search warrant at Paws and Claws in Wingo, Kentucky this morning. This is an animal shelter run out of a home.

After receiving multiple complaints from neighbors, Animal Rescue Corps concluded a seven-month investigation on the business and presented their findings to the Graves County Sheriff's Department on Wednesday. A search warrant was secured and the search and seizure was executed this morning. The Graves County Sheriff's department had been getting complaints for more than two years, but could not build a good enough case against them.

Authorities say at least 100 dogs have been found alive while multiple dogs were found dead.

The owner of the business is Shannon Lacewell. She was not there at the time of the search and an arrest warrant on one count of animal cruelty has been issued. More counts could be added as the investigation continues.


Case Updates

For the first time in a month and half, alleged animal abuser Shannon Lacewell was in court Wednesday morning. Prosecutors added 96 additional charges of animal cruelty.

On Feb. 14, the Animal Rescue Corps along with the Graves County Sheriff's Department raided her "Paws, Claws and More" shelter and seized 96 starving and sick dogs. They also found nine dead dogs on the property.

Lacewell is due back in court next Wednesay for a pre-trial conference and arraignment for a drug possession charge. She is out on bond and is legally barred from housing any domestic animals of any kind at this time.
Source: - Mar 28, 2012
Update posted on Mar 29, 2012 - 11:13AM 
A Kentucky animal rescue organization has questioned the charges against a woman responsible for starving more than 100 dogs.

In February, over 100 starving and sick dogs were removed by the Animal Rescue Corps of Kentucky from Shannon Lacewell's home. The rescue group says the dogs were starving and dehydrated and in need of immediate medical attention. Lacewell told police she also ran a dog rescue effort.

She was charged with one count of a misdemeanor crime, second-degree animal cruelty. Leaders with the Animal Rescue Corps submitted a letter to the Graves County Attorney asking that the strongest charges be brought against Lacewell.

"Kentucky is considered one of the lowest ranking states in terms of animal protection laws," said ARC President Scotlund Haisley. "However, I believe the strongest laws Kentucky has to offer apply to this case. It was one of the worst cases of animal cruelty, neglect and torture I've seen in my career. Our foremost hope is that Lacewell never be allowed to have animals again."

Haisley has urged police to charge Lacewell with a count of animal cruelty for every animal found on the property, both living and dead. Haisley also wants felony charges of animal torture be considered, as well as a permanent ban on Lacewell having animals in her care.

As of now more than 50% of the animals rescued from Lacewell's home have been placed in homes.
Source: - Mar 15, 2012
Update posted on Mar 16, 2012 - 12:12PM 
It's hard to understand how severely 96 dogs have been neglected until you spend a few minutes with Dr. Heather Robertson.

She's normally a Veterinarian at the Nashville Zoo, but at the Tennessee State Fair Grounds she's volunteering her time while closely watching the most critical patients, including this Dachshund named "Sir Monty".

"Open sinus and no lower jaw," Robertson said while reviewing the neglect that she says let Sir Monty's teeth and lower jaw rot away. "I can actually take both lower mandibles and move them independently because from here forward is gone... there's no connection."

Volunteers are now giving the dogs food, water and shelter, the most basic needs they were simply going without.

"This is how a rescue organization takes care of animals," said Animal Rescue Corps Scoutlund Haisley who was in Graves County, Ky. Tuesday where they found 96 dogs nearly starving to death. The group also found eight dead dogs on the property as well as body parts and corpses in burn piles.

"They weren't living on that property they were dying on that property," Haisley said.

The owner of "Paws Claws and More Rescue Transport" spoke to NewsChannel 5 by phone Wednesday.

"There were no dead dogs anywhere," said Shannon Lacewell who now faces 2nd degree Animal Cruelty. Lacewell says she didn't know of any dead dogs on the property or in burn piles. She claims she was merely caring for the dogs that others had abandoned.

"Everybody has their own idea of rescue. Rescue is a horrible thing, and when people find out where you live then they dump their dogs that they care nothing about at your house," Lacewell said.

Doctors have to help the ones who are left survive after being rescued from a place that was supposed to be a second chance.

"Unless she pulled these guys in the day before we got there, there is no way that she has given them the attention that was needed," Robertson went on to say.

Haisley says Animal Rescue Corps say they've already gotten a number of used blankets and sheets, but they need more. They also need food for the volunteers that have to staff this rescue nearly around the clock.

Organizers say most of the dogs should be in shelters and possibly adoptable by the end of the weekend.
Source: - Feb 15, 2012
Update posted on Feb 15, 2012 - 10:42PM 


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