Animal advocates are hoping lawmakers will enact a number of House bills focusing on dogfighting, euthanasia, and animal trusts.
"We want to make Kentucky a humane state," Andrea Blair with the Kentucky Humane Society told the audience.
About 250 guests, some of the four-legged variety, came together at the Capitol Thursday for the 14th annual Humane Lobby Day.
Pam Rogers, Kentucky State Director for the Humane Society of the United States, says lax care standards, limited protections, and a lack of restrictions on ownership after animal abuse convictions have contributed the Bluegrass’ consistently poor animal welfare rankings.
"We're hoping the legislators will take heed to the fact that Kentucky is 50th for animal cruelty laws and we want to get out of the basement for a change. One of the key bills we're focusing on is making possession of dogs for the purpose of fighting a felony. We're the only state in the United States that does not make the possession of dogs for the purpose of fighting a crime," she says.
A second piece of legislation, House Bill 30, would require owners found guilty of animal cruelty to forfeit their animals and prohibit them from owning animals of the same species for at least two years.
Additional bills in the House would also bar the use of gas chambers for euthanization and provide for the formation of animal care trusts.