Applications available at Animal Control office, Hardin County website
By Sarah Bennett
Wednesday, August 22, 2012 at 3:30 am (Updated: August 22, 6:06 am)
About five months after being removed from a Vine Grove trailer where officials said they were living in “unsanitary conditions,” 103 dogs found at 103 Gaylene Drive soon will be available for adoption.
Brian and Joyce McCarthy pleaded guilty Monday to 75 counts of second-degree animal cruelty. With a conclusion reached in Hardin District Court, the dogs no longer are evidence and are eligible for adoption.
Since being removed from the residence in March, the dogs have been in the care of Hardin County Animal Control. On Tuesday, Director Jerry Foley said Pet Pros Spay/Neuter Clinic is going to spay and neuter the animals for free. Until then, the animals are not available for adoption.
Foley estimated the dogs will be available for adoption in a couple weeks. Those interested in adopting a dog can fill out applications available at Animal Control, 116 Nicholas Street in Elizabethtown, or on the Hardin County Government website, he said.
“We will adopt every dog,” Foley said. “We’re not going to euthanize any of them.”
The animals have received rabies shots, multiple veterinarian examinations and dog licenses, he said. They also are being socialized with other dogs.
Foley said there are a few “special needs” dogs as some of the older animals have had three or four cesarean sections.
“Some of these dogs have had a tough time of it,” he said.
Though they pleaded guilty Monday, the McCarthys did not “abuse” the dogs in question, defense attorney Dwight Preston said.
Preston said the couple was “devastated” by Monday’s conclusion but ultimately received the “best deal they could get.”
After months of research and discussion, Preston said the guilty plea was the “safest course of action.”
With the exception of some federal guidelines that would not apply to the couple’s case, he said, “There are no standards for what is adequate space, what is adequate water and what is adequate feed for a domestic dog.”
By proceeding to a jury trial, the couple would have risked a lot of jail time over the issue of inadequate space, Preston said.
“They took it very hard,” he said. “The dogs were their family.”
The McCarthys were sentenced to two years probation and are not allowed to own animals during that time, Assistant County Attorney Michael Howard said Monday.
Preston said he was pleased with Howard and the Hardin County Attorney’s Office in their handling of the case as they “really came out on top of this.”
Foley said Animal Control is lucky to have a county attorney’s office that takes animal cruelty cases seriously and is willing to prosecute.
He added his office is grateful for the assistance from volunteers and other agencies while the case was pending. During that time, Animal Control was fulfilling its normal duties while also taking care of the more than 100 dogs recovered from the home.
“It was a monumental task to take care of 100 Chihuahuas,” he said.
Sarah Bennett can be reached at (270) 505-1750 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To apply for consideration to adopt one of the 15 McCarthy Chihuahuas available at the Animal Refuge Center, please see our Adoption Application Form.