Case Snapshot
Case ID: 19904
Classification: Neglect / Abandonment
Animal: dog (pit-bull)
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Monday, Apr 1, 2013

County: Nelson

Disposition: Alleged

Alleged: John C. Lewis

Case Updates: 1 update(s) available

Nine dogs were discovered hurt and mistreated in a crime that sickened police.

John C. Lewis returned to his Bardstown home Monday to find a troop of police officers combing his property.

Bardstown Police Department Captain Tom Roby said the case originated with a call. Everyone could hear the noise coming from Lewis' backyard in the 100 block of Hagan Drive.

"When he arrived he could immediately hear dogs yelping and barking," explained Roby.

Roby explained what they could not see over the phone was far more disturbing than all the noise, "Skin torn away, flesh torn out, part of the ear removed, scars all over their face, punctured intestines."

Roby said it was a crime that will stay with him, "Animal cruelty is out of the norm and when you see it it's pretty shocking. It stays with you."

The dogs had no food, a problem Roby and his officers worked quickly to solve, "Officer Wright located some food and began feeding the dogs cause they seemed malnourished and they were starving."

While the scene of the crime was shocking, in Kentucky it is actually seen too often. For the sixth straight year in a row Kentucky can claim a title no one wants to take. The Animal Legal Defense Fund, a national rights law organization, ranks Kentucky's animal protection laws as inadequate, almost non-existent.

"No one wants to see an animal suffer or abused," said Roby. "If people in this area are involved in this we want to target them and we want to go after them. So hopefully people will call."

Animal lovers and activists in Kentuckiana not only want the cruelty and abuse reported to the law, but also to see government officials in the state.

In total nine dogs were found in Lewis' yard. One was injured so severely he was euthanized on the spot by a veterinarian that was called in. The eight surviving dogs are being treated.

Lewis is facing 10 counts of animal cruelty. Nelson County police are continuing to investigating the case.

Case Updates

Bardstown Police say they have arrested a man after one dead pit bull and several injured pit bulls were found in his back yard.

According to a news release, police went to Hagan Drive near N. 3rd Street, in Bardstown just before 7:30 p.m. Monday after they received a tip that animal abuse was taking place at that location.

When they arrived, officers allegedly found nine pit bulls "barking and yelping" in the back yard, along with one dead pit bull. Two of the pit bulls were fighting at the time, according to police.

"Officer Wright noted that several dogs were covered in blood and had ripped flesh and skin torn off," the news release states. "He also noted that the dogs appeared to be starving, very malnourished and trying to eat each other."

Police say there was no food for the dogs, and some of them had no water either.

The Nelson County Dog Warden and a veterinarian from Special Pets in Bardstown assisted with the care of the animals. One of the living pit bulls was so injured that it had to be euthanized. The eight others were impounded.

While officers were on the scene, the resident of the house, John C. Lewis, returned home. Police say he was arrested and charged with 10 counts of animal cruelty. He allegedly admitted that the dogs were his, but denied fighting them.

Lewis was taken to the Nelson Count Jail.

Police say the investigation continues, and anyone with information is asked to call them at (502) 348-6811.
Source: WDRB - April 2, 2013
Update posted on Apr 7, 2013 - 5:41PM 


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