“This is inhumane” Barbara Yandal, Hickman City Commissioner

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06 Apr 2010, Atlanta, Georgia, USA --- Two dogs up for adoption at the Fulton County Animal Shelter in Atlanta, Georgia --- Image by © Peter Essick/Aurora Photos/Corbis

A recent visit to the animal shelter located in Hickman resulted in a Fulton resident notifying me of the deplorable conditions at the facility along with photos of the facility.
The pictures show what I would describe as unbelievable and totally unacceptable. As a result of seeing them, I went to Hickman Sunday afternoon to see if the conditions could actually be this horrible.
My suspicions were soon confirmed as soon as I looked into the facility. I had my son accompany me to provide additional confirmation and video of the shelter conditions. I can say without exaggeration that there were tens of thousands of dead mosquitoes lying on the floor, and live ones numbering in the thousands attached to the walls and flying around the single room structure.
There were two dogs in the shelter when I was there. Each of the pens they were housed in contained a large amount of feces and the smell of urine was very evident also. Other pens that were empty were full of feces as well, and it was obvious that the shelter had not been cleaned in days.
While I was there, Hickman City Commissioner Barbara Yandal came by. She was not aware of the terrible conditions, and commented “this is inhumane.” She assured me that she would do her best to see why the facility was in this condition. While she and I talked, Hickman City Manager Larry Myatt was driving down the road and stopped.
I questioned Myatt about the conditions, and he was apparently not aware that the facility was not being properly maintained. Myatt said, “Apparently this just slipped through the cracks.” I told Myatt that I would request that the City of Fulton discontinue sending any dogs there until the facility met state regulations.  He asked what he could do about the mosquitoes, to which I replied “windows.” There are bars where the windows once were, which is allowing mosquitoes and other insects to swarm the shelter. Myatt added, “I was not aware it was not being maintained.”
Myatt said he would meet with other officials to discuss what could be done, as the City of Hickman is to provide the shelter, along with maintaining it on a daily basis, which is not being done. Kentucky Revised Statutes 258.119 (3) b 6, states that the facility will have access to the public for no less than 24 hours in one week, with the hours that the facility is open to the public posted in a visible location. There is no sign indicating this on the shelter. The animals are not being fed daily nor do they have water at all times.
The agreement that the three entities agreed upon calls for the City of Fulton to pay ½ of the salary, ½ of the gas, and provide the vehicle. The Fulton County Fiscal Court pays the other portion of the gas and salary. The City of Hickman is to provide the animal shelter, and pay for the daily cleaning and feeding of the animals housed there.

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Robert Lewis
Robert graduated from Brandman University, where he got his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Born in Massachusetts, Robert’s family moved to Kentucky in 2005 where he spent his college life and worked as an insurance agent for four years. Now is the founder and team leader of the website.

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