ELLIOTT CO., Ky. (LEX 18) — A total of 18 dogs and cats were seized by authorities Tuesday from a controversial Elliott County no-kill animal shelter, more than a month after the owner was arrested and charged with 179 counts of animal cruelty.
"Today was a total surprise. They just showed up out of the blue," said The Trixie Foundation owner Randy Skaggs. On Tuesday, authorities from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, with help from state troopers, took 14 dogs and four cats from the shelter — the very same one Skaggs called "an eden" on the shelter’s website.
"All of a sudden, State Police show up," recalls Skaggs. "They told us they were here to take away the animals."
During the 10 minute-long interview, Skaggs kept defending his care of the dogs and cats in the shelter, saying the seizure will do more harm than good.
"They took perfectly healthy dogs. They took this little dog named Ranger who was from an abuse case or something," he said. "They said the dog was underweight. Look at this?" pointing to dog food. "Does this look like we’re not feeding them?"
Not only does Skaggs face 179 counts of animal cruelty, but an additional 179 counts of not giving dogs in his care proper vaccinations. He will be back in court later in May to answer to the charges.
"It’s not our fault they’re getting old. It’s not our fault they’re getting blind. It’s not our fault they’re losing weight or developing diseases that goes with getting old. I can’t be perfect," said Skaggs.
KSP told LEX 18 News all questions about the seizure will need to be directed to the State Department of Agriculture.