• John McGary, Woodford Sun News Editor

Court passes animal protections

Woodford Fiscal Court Tuesday unanimously passed an ordinance strengthening protections for pets that County Attorney Alan George said had been mischaracterized on social media.

The ordinance was the result of many hours of work by Animal Control Officer Susan Jones and the court’s ordinance committee, and is the first update to county animal care laws since 1996.

Among the changes:

Adequate shelter is defined as being “sufficient enough to protect the animal from weather conditions that may cause suffering, based on the species, breed, body condition, and health of the animal.” The shelter must have a solid floor, at least three solid walls or sides, a solid roof, proper ventilation and bedding.

Leashes must “be attached to a properly fitting collar/harness designed to be a holding device. The tether and collar shall be of a weight and material appropriate for the species, breed, condition, and size of the animal …” The area around leashes, which can be no less than 10 feet long, must be free of objects which could become entangled in them.

In a note to magistrates, Amy Hath wrote, “I am writing to encourage you to consider improving the ordinance on animal chaining that you are set to vote on. It is simply insufficient to protect animals. I encourage you to hear Tracy Miller from Speak Out And Rescue, as she is very knowledgeable on the subject. Please reconsider.”

After the meeting, Magistrate Mary Ann Gill (Dist. 7) said she’d spoken by phone with a representative of the Speak Out And Rescue (SOAR) about the ordinance. SOAR’s mission statement says the group was “formed to speak out on behalf of chained, abused, and neglected dogs, and to help rescue those in need.”

Gill said SOAR favors a ban on unattended tethering, and that no county in Kentucky has such a ban, though the city of Frankfort passed one. Such a ban wasn’t feasible in Woodford County or necessarily even desirable, she said, citing the example of a chicken-killing dog that, if leashing wasn’t available, might have been euthanized.

Road money

Magistrates voted unanimously to accept $436,316 in state rural secondary road funds for the resurfacing of 4.222 miles of Shannon Road and Pisgah Pike in fiscal year 2019, which begins July 1. Magistrates also voted unanimously to use $197,451 in flex funds on county roads, rather than the state Transportation Cabinet’s offer to use the money on two more miles of Shannon Run, a state road.

A low bid of $151,161 for road resurfacing work from Mago Construction of Bardstown was also unanimously endorsed. Conservation District storage

The court unanimously approved a request by the Woodford Conservation District to lease an area between a half-acre and acre adjacent to the Agriculture Resource Building to store farm rental equipment.

Judge-Executive John Coyle said the group must submit a survey and a lease agreement with the standard dollar-a-year for 99 years. Sheriff’s audit

Two state audits of former Sheriff Wayne Tiny Wright were accepted into the record, with Magistrate Duncan Gardiner (Dist. 6) noting that both were “clean audits.”

Project Graduation

The court unanimously supported the annual request by Woodford County Project Graduation to use Falling Springs Arts and Recreation Center on May 26 from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. The program allows students to “celebrate with their classmates following commencement in a safe, alcohol-free, drug-free environment.”

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