There are no certain answers concerning what happened to 'Dutchess and Duke'.
This case was resolved through private negotiations between Estill County officials and Bruce Wagman of the ALDF.
The court proceedings were canceled.
When asked of Mr. Wagman, as to where these dogs are, he stated:
"I can assure you they are our of the shelter and in a safe place and will get to permanent, loving homes",said Atty., Bruce Wagman, of the ALDF. You can e-mail Mr. Wagman at- BWagman@schiffhardin.com.
I would like to know where these dogs are, and the future plans for these dogs. But, as always, there are too many secrets here. I thought that since I was a citizen here, that I would be entitled to know the whereabouts of these dogs. I thought wrong.
Thank you all for your help and concern,
Dutchess and Duke are two dogs held at the Estill County Animal Shelter, found hungry, sick and in solitary confinement. A rescue volunteer found the dogs and photographed them at the shelter 3 weeks ago, they were hidden in the back of the shelter out of sight of the public. These dogs were seized and held as 'evidence', nearly a year ago in an animal abuse case against a man by the name of Mr. Bowman, who was incarcerated. The year prior, he left his two dogs in the care of his girlfriend, who did not take proper care of the dogs where they were found by the police and seized by Animal Control. Finally, after 11 months, the case finally came up in the Estill County Circuit Court, with Judge Mc Clananan presiding. Mr. Bowman did not show up for his arrainment or the hearing on February 12, 2009, and thus, he was declaired a 'flight from justice'. At the arraignment hearing, a"local citizen" requested that the dogs be turned over to their rescue due to the poor care and treatment they received from the shelter so the dogs could receive all the veterinarian care and rehabilitation they have deserved for so long. The prosecuting attorney stated that the dogs "were in fine shape". So the judge told the citizen to "get a lawyer" in behalf of Dutchess and Duke. Attorney, Bruce Wagner, of the American Legal Defence Fund, was notified by another concerned rescue volunteer, and filed a restraining order so the dogs would not be killed by Animal Control at the shelter. So these poor dogs are still at the Estill County Animal Shelter awaiting their 'court date'. In addition, an online letter was sent to Estill County Judge Executive Taylor, with over 50 signatures requesting the animals go to a rescue and not be killed. The letter also detailed serious health and welfare problems with the shelter. Judge Taylor agreed to release the dogs to a rescue in Alabama, in which no information has been provided to "the concerned Estill County citizens" about these arrangements, even after many questions were asked. A motion was brougt before a 'sit in' judge by the County Attorney, Rodney Davis, asking the court to give the shelter staff the control of these dogs, where as 'they would have probably been killed'. A courthouse employee who was present reminded the 'sit in' judge of the previous restraining order. A formal motion was filed by the County Attorney to lift the restraining order and thereby allow the shelter either to send these dogs to a 'secret rescue', or to kill the dogs. This court date for these dogs is on March 5, 2009 at 9:30am, at the Estill County Courthouse in Irvine, Kentucky. This counties citizens are unaware of any of this, and we hope with the support of MANY concerned people in Kentucky, the U.S.A., and around the world can help our Estill Countians become aware of what is happening here. Duchess and Duke continue to be held at the shelter, without an 'out of town' veterinarian allowed in to care for them. These dogs have NEVER been walked, or had any outside exercise since they were incarcerated at the shelter. Their paws are bloody and infected from nails that have ingrown and from the constant contact with cement flooring. Duchess eyes were sealed shut from infection, their stomachs bloated from worms and bones protruding from either lack of food or lack of medical treatment for worms and parasites. The county veterinarian was supposed to have visited these animals several weeks ago, though this is not documented. They will remain in these conditions until next Thursday, March 5th when their fate will once again be determined by the court. Save a Shelter Dog Rescue wants to present a plan for "Dutchess and Duke" so they can receive the best veterinary, and rehabilitative care available. These dogs will need professional care for quite some time. Neglect and cruelty are all these dogs have ever experienced, and our rescue group, save a shelter dog, only wants "Dutchess and Duke" to experience the love and care that any living being is entiltled to. In reaching out to the world, our rescue group, save a shelter dog, has been banned from saving any animal from the Estill County Animal Shelter, even though the volunteer from the group that spoke up for these dogs in court, lives right here in Estill County, Kentucky. So, please show your support for 'Dutchess and Duke", so that they may get the care and rehabilitation that they have waited so long for... They should have a chance to experience love and care, when we,and so many, are willing to provide that for them. "Dutchess and Duke" represents the MANY years of animal abuse and neglect that have gone on in many parts of Kentucky. I hope that one day soon, Kentucky will become an "animal friendly place", that is no longer at the bottom of all fifty United States in animal welfare laws. We thank you for all your support.
It is up to you to see to it that the world knows the whereabouts of "Dutchess and Duke". All we want is for these dogs to be safe, and we need to know where these dogs are and where they will be cared for in the future. I trust you will do the 'right' thing here. Thank You, Robin Rose
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