Shelter Wars in Hopkins County

Madisonville, KY – Hopkins County officials want to build a new animal shelter near the jail, but they've encountered stiff resistance from the local Humane Society president. The Madisonville Messenger reports fiscal court representative Tom Riggs presented the proposal at a Humane Society board meeting earlier this year. It calls for inmate labor to reduce the cost of maintaining the building. Riggs says the county would also help the shelter find volunteer staff for other programs citing specifically the creation and maintenance of a website. He tells the Madisonville Messenger that he sees website as something vital to reducing the shelter's 2008 animal euthanization rate of 79 percent. However, society president Judy Lacy staunchly opposes the suggestions, saying the current facility is in good condition and building a new shelter would give too much control over to the county. Lacy also disapproved of the inmate proposal, citing negative past experience with prisoners at the shelter.