Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Adair County Man Charged With Nearly 300 Counts of Animal Cruelty


An Adair County man talks to WBKO, the same day he pleads "not guilty" in court to nearly 300 counts of animal cruelty.

We spoke with him and workers at an Adair County animal shelter who are now caring for hundreds of dogs and cats.

It all started Friday when David Howery was arrested by sheriff's deputies.

Howery is the owner of the Clean Slate Animal Rescue in Columbia, a center set up to give rescued animals a temporary home.

When sheriff's deputies raided his shelter they say they found dead animals next to live ones, as well as feces and urine contaminating the rooms.

But what was temporary housing, Howery says, turned out to be more long-term--and animal shelter employees are now working around the clock caring for the remaining animals.

"This has been one of the worst situations I have ever been a part of," said Garrett Luttrell, an employee at the Green River Animal Shelter.

It's been a long weekend for the shelter.

"We're full to capacity," he said.

Employees are working non-stop, caring for more than 270 malnourished dogs and cats.

"I wouldn't starve myself the way he did these dogs," Luttrell said.

Shelters and rescue groups from across the state are stepping in to help, including Warren County's.

"I would like to say I've seen worse, but this tops. Maybe not the number of the animals but the condition of the animals," assured Hannah Pepin, with the Bowling Green-Warren County Animal Adoption Center.

The shelter and Bowling Green's "RePets" are bringing some of the animals back to help out where the Green River shelter can't.

"They don't have the funding for any kind of medical treatment these guys are going to need," Pepin said.

For David Howery, he lived here with the animals, in this make-shift shelter that was once a school he said he bought on e-bay.

He says the information getting out isn't all true.

"I believe what we're looking at here is a lack of understanding. Not a misunderstanding, but a lack of understanding on the efforts of rescuers," Howery said.

Howery says the reason he had so many animals is because they go unwanted by so many in Kentucky.

But what Howery wouldn't say is whether or not numerous reports of dead animals in his rescue shelter were true.

"Dead animals in the building? We're not going to comment on that. Not at this time," Howery said.

Howery says he plans to hold a press conference to address the media on the issue.

Meanwhile, Green River Animal Shelter Director Jim Blair says the shelter is in need on dry dog food and cleaning supplies to continue caring for the animals