In Feb. 26 IssueBy Greg WellsTimes Journal Managing Editor
The Facebook page, the blog and the Web page are all gone and the man who ran the Clean Slate Animal Rescue stands accused of nearly 300 counts of cruelty to animals.
When it was still running 50-year-old David Howery's Web page accused Kentuckians of a culture that treated animals as "utilitarian and disposable."
When taken into custody last weekend the Oregon native allegedly had dead and living animals in the same enclosures.
Howery is accused of underfeeding, and failing to treat the animals in his care.
He faces 295 counts of second degree animal cruelty.
Jeff Thomas, director of the Green River Animal Shelter, said that shelter was trusted with animals from several county owned shelters in south-central Kentucky.
"We don't know what he did with those animals," Thomas said. "The bad thing is he had a trench on the back of his property and there were plastic bags in it. I don't know what was in them."
Thomas said the Green River Animal Shelter, which is supported in part by Russell County tax dollars and takes animals from this county, had placed 75 or as many as 100 animals with Howery for adoption.
Now Thomas said he is wondering what happened to those animals.
"And he isn't talking," said Thomas of the accused.
Clean Slate, whose stated mission was to provide a temporary home until animals can be placed in a permanent one, was raided Feb. 20th after the Adair County Sheriff's office received a call about the conditions at the rescue agency.
The sheriff's office seized about 210 dogs, 30 cats, 50 chickens, 12 goats, three potbellied pigs, three chinchillas, two donkeys and a horse from the old school grounds.
Six dead goats were reportedly found in a room with the 12 live goats,
Clean Slate was originally in Estacada, Ore. The rescue agency moved to Kentucky in March 2007 after Howery purchased the former Sparksville Elementary School building in Adair County.
Animals that had already been housed at the Green River Animal Shelter had to be taken to other animal shelters to make room for the animals from Clean Slate.
Shelter workers said the move was also necessary to prevent any illness the animals came in with from spreading to those already being held at the regional shelter.
"We had about 75 county shelters and rescue groups come in and take animals," Thomas said.
Of the animals seized about 190 are still in the shelter, Thomas added.
There was an influx of volunteers and help when the seizure of all the animals was first announced, but there are still needs.
Thomas said they are able to meet the 400-pound-a-day need for dog food in the short term, but puppy food and cleaning supplies are badly needed.
Beyond that, he said all the animals taken are suffering from one form or another of respiratory illness and all the dogs are suffering with mange.
Medicine, bedding and many other needs aren't convenient for direct donation so Thomas said they are in need of donations to help pay the costs of the medications and the repeated deep cleaning needed to return the shelter to the sanitary, healthy location to house animals.
To donate see the www.greenriveranimalshelter.com website, call 270-385-9655 or just mail a check to 455 Jim Blair Rd, Columbia Ky 42728