More than 100 animals seized from The Trixie Foundation, donations needed

Posted at 9:16 PM, May 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-03 23:51:27-04

ELLIOTT COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — WARNING: Some of the details and images in this story are disturbing.

The owner of a controversial animal shelter in Elliott County faces new criminal charges.

Kentucky State Police troopers executed a search warrant on Saturday at the Trixie Foundation Animal Shelter in response to several reports of animal cruelty.

KSP says they seized 90 dogs reported to be living in poor conditions and receiving improper care.

Volunteers tending to the animals on Sunday told LEX 18 that the final number of animals seized is 108, including 104 dogs and four cats.

68 year-old Randy Skaggs is cited with 12 counts of improperly disposing of dead animals.

Police say more charges are pending the results of veterinarian records.

Penny Menz assisted in retrieving the animals from the Trixie Foundation on Saturday. She calls it the worst thing she’s ever seen.

“There was a dog that they had to call the vet for immediately. She had to be euthanized. She was lifeless but still breathing,” recalled Menz, who said she expects to lose more dogs after veterinarians assess their conditions. “They’re suffering and we need to put them down.”

Many of the animals have visible health problems, including severe eye infections and large tumors on their mouths and bodies.

Jennifer Jones is among the volunteers helping care for the animals. She’s frequently called for help throughout the day due to her unique experience with them. Jones worked for Skaggs for eight months in 2018. She said she was not aware of the animal cruelty counts Skaggs was charged with when she was hired.

“I didn’t want to leave the animals alone with him,” said Jones. “I’m so excited for their future. They actually have a good future now.”

LEX 18 News spoke to Skaggs in 2018 after he was charged with 179 counts of animal cruelty and 179 counts of failing to vaccinate dogs for rabies.

After those charges were filed, many of those animals were taken in by a shelter in Amelia, Ohio.

Skaggs is currently scheduled to go to trial for the 2018 charges on June 23.

Jenny Jones runs a Facebook page called “STOP The Trixie Foundation aka The Gulag,” which has monitored the Trixie Foundation’s activities for several years. Jones said they’re currently in need of veterinarians to volunteer to evaluate the animals.

“The quicker we can get them assessed, the quicker they can go to foster homes because they can't leave here until we've documented everything that's wrong with every single dog,” said Jones.

They are also in need of supplies, like wet and dry food, blankets, cleaning supplies, and vaccines.

If you’re interested in donating or volunteering, Jones is asking you to contact them through Facebook. The location of the animals is not being released as a precaution for their safety. You’ll need to be vetted by an organizer before you are given the address.

Skaggs was cited, but not arrested. A trial date for the new charges has not been set yet.