NewsCovering Kentucky


Animal torture bill aims to protect animals like Ethan

ETHAN 3.jpg
Posted at 5:54 PM, Feb 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-12 18:31:45-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — House Bill 57 was introduced to the Kentucky General Assembly not long before a dog named Ethan made headlines after being dumped outside the Kentucky Humane Society.

Sponsored by Rep. Chris Freeland, HB 57 would give Kentucky's animal torture law more teeth, expanding its definition of torture to include language about "restraints". You can read the bill in full here.

If passed, Freeland said he hopes it will encourage people to surrender a pet rather than dump it like Ethan's owner dumped him.

Two weeks ago, Ethan was on the verge of death when he was left in the KHS parking lot.

Since then, hospital staff have carefully nursed him back to health.

KHS shelter veterinarian Dr. Emily Bewley estimates that Ethan will be ready for adoption in about a month. She said he is out of the woods but still needs to build more strength back.

All the while, Facebook users have tracked his miraculous progress. Posts about Ethan have garnered nearly 400,000 likes and have raised almost $130,000 for the Kentucky Humane Society.

"His story is so phenomenal and has touched so many people that I think he is going to just be an animal we all remember for the rest of our lives," KHS shelter veterinarian Dr. Emily Bewley, said.

People are also sending toys and care packages through the mail, along with voicemails, emails, and other messages of encouragement.


A spokeswoman for KHS said the donations will go to Ethan's recovery and will help thousands of other animals at KHS who never get this type of attention.

Freeland said time is short to pass HB 57. He said he hopes it will be assigned to the Judiciary Committee next Wednesday. After that, it still needs to go to the House floor, and then the Senate to pass.

Anyone who wants to help in this effort, can call their representatives and senators and ask them to co-sponsor support and pass the bill. They can do so by calling 1-800-372-7181.