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Where to Report Equine Cruelty or Neglect

The Kentucky Humane Society is not a municipal shelter and we do not have any jurisdiction to handle animal control in Kentucky; this includes stray reports and cruelty investigations. Information on identifying cruelty or neglect (PDF).

The Kentucky Horse Council provides this advice for reporting cruelty or neglect in case of horse(s) in your county:

  1. First, contact your local animal control/municipal animal shelter
  2. If the county animal control officer does not investigate large animal cases, contact your county Sheriffs' Department.
  3. If you are unsatisfied with the outcome of the sheriff's investigation, or lack of response from the sheriff, contact the Office of the Kentucky State Veterinarian, who can dispatch an investigator to the site. The investigator will assess the situation and present that assessment to the County Attorney. The County Attorney will then decide whether or not to press charges based on the assessment.


Abandoned Horses

If you find an abandoned horse and cannot locate the owner, you may choose to take it in and provide care for it. In such cases, there is a legal process to follow including a 15-day stray-hold period. If the owner is unknown and cannot be found, there is a process to follow to gain ownership after the legal stray-hold period expires. The process is outlined in Kentucky Revised Statute 259.

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