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Ashley Judd is leading the charge to urge Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear to protect the State’s homeless animals by signing a new petition.

The petition, organized by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, aims to increase support for Kentucky’s Humane Shelter Law, which requires each county to provide basic care for stray and homeless animals. However, the organization believes the law is not being enforced.

The petition reads: "In 2004, the state of Kentucky abdicated its responsibility to protect all citizens of the state by relinquishing the authority to oversee and regulate the animal shelters in each county in the state. Despite passage of the “Humane Shelter Law” (KRS Chap. 258) that same year, many Kentucky counties are treating the animals in their care with reckless disregard for the suffering that they are causing. This misconduct continues because the Humane Shelter Law has no enforcement provision and the state has not stepped in and demanded that the basic standards of care required by the Law be provided to these animals.

“While the state stands idly by, animals are suffering and dying in deplorable conditions. Preventable shelter-borne diseases, filth, flea and tick infestations and contaminate water are common. Even worse, there are stories across the state of dogs and cats being routinely euthanized, even shot (illegal under the 2004 law), without any attempt to find their owners or adopt them into loving homes.

“The Animal Legal Defense Fund has filed lawsuits in two particularly problematic counties — Robertson and Estill — that helped put an end to the abuse and neglect that was running rampant, and also negotiated to achieve improvements in Rockcastle County, but the problems are taking place all across the state. As a supporter of the Animal Legal Defense Fund, I strongly urge you to step in and end the suffering of all innocent animals in Kentucky by pressing the legislature to act and have the state take back responsibility for oversight of these shelters.”

To join Ashley in signing the petition, click here.

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