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'There's cats, dogs, pigs, chickens': KSP finds 23 abandoned animals in Breathitt County

(WYMT)
Published: Dec. 25, 2019 at 3:07 PM EST
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Tuesday night, Kentucky State Police received a call about an abandoned house in Breathitt County.

Upon arrival, troopers found 23 abandoned and malnourished animals.

Notifying the Kentucky River Regional Animal Shelter of what they found, Chairman Tammy Noble called an emergency veterinarian.

"All of them were not in good shape. Some of them have been hospitalized they are very emaciated, they were chained," she said.

More than one kind of animal was found at the house.

"There's cats, dogs, pigs, chickens, ducks all different kinds of different types of animals."

While some animals were hospitalized, two hound dogs were brought to the Appalachian Animal Hospital in Hazard.

The owner, Dr. Gene Smith, has been in practice for more than three decades. Seeing cases like this before he was able to weight in on their journey to recovery.

"That they have not had any access to food for some time or they've just had very limited access and they've just gradually lost down to where they are in critical condition," said Smith.

After checking their body weight and for parasites, next is nursing them back to better health. This includes giving them two small meals to start with, gradually increasing proportions until they can handle a full meal.

"Nutritionally, we have to go slow because they're bowels not used to absorbing protein and fats and carbohydrates. It'll just be a slow go to get them back to where they can eat enough to actually start gaining weight," said Smith.

Dr. Smith also has a message for anyone with animals, "These animals cannot take care of themselves. And if you can't take care of them, you just shouldn't have them."

The specifics of who abandoned the animals is still under investigation by the Kentucky State Police.