Klinton E. Kelly

Dragging his 13 year old collie with his car

Mayfield, KY

Nov. 17, 1999

Klinton E. Kelly was charged with cruelty to animals involving dragging his collie named Laddie (age 13) by holding his leash out the jeep window as he drove down the city street.

According to witnesses and the Mayfield Police Department report, Laddie had wondered off about six blocks. A well-meaning citizen called Kelly from the tags on Laddie’s collar. When Kelly got there, Laddie cheerfully trotted off with him to the jeep. Since Laddie was damp from morning rain, Kelly did not want the dog to get the inside of his jeep wet. Kelly then started dragging Laddie. He stopped the jeep at one point about two blocks from his home, beat the dog with the end of the thick nylon leash, got back in his jeep then dragged Laddie the rest of the way home. According to the three witnesses the dog was never seen on his feet.  When animal control got to Laddie minutes later at Kelly’s residence, Laddie was limp, eyes not focusing, foaming at the month and unresponsive.

The tops of his back paws and back knees had all the skin scraped off. After being shaved down at the vets' recommendation, severe bruising is now showing complications. The skin has broken down and is requiring daily debriedment. There was some question as to the dogs' complete recovery.  Prior to this cruelty, Laddie was known to be a cheerful and perky pet.  After the dragging, Laddie became listless and wandered aimlessly around the shelter and acted like he could not “keep it together”.

Laddie was acquired by the Kelly family as a puppy and given the name of “Lassie.  He was known to often wander from his fenced in yard.  Animal Control had picked Laddie up on numerous occasions from various parts of this small Kentucky community and taken him to the Mayfield-Graves County Animal Shelter as a stray.  He had even found his own way to the Shelter for a visit, he showed up at the employee’s entrance where he has been taken into the shelter numerous times by Animal Control.  Because he wears a collar tag, he was always positively identified and returned home.

At Kelly’s pre-trial hearing on December 15, 1999, Kelly pled not guilty to the charge of animal abuse and requested a trial by a jury of his peers.  Kelly filed a motion to have the “family pet” returned to the family home.  Kelly’s lawyer Richard Null stated that Kelly agreed to have no contact with the dog.  The Judge asked if Kelly was willing to leave the family home.  Kelly wasn’t willing to do so, but had agreed to have no contact with the dog.  Judge Buck ruled in favor of Laddie staying in the custody of the Mayfield-Graves County Animal Shelter and the family members could visit him anytime during normal business hours at the Shelter. 

Kelly also made a motion to have Laddie examined by a veterinarian of the Kelly family choosing.  The Judge agreed.  The veterinarian examined Laddie and stated that there is nothing that he could do for Laddie that wasn’t already being done at the shelter.

At the shelter Laddie has become the “Grandfather” and door greeter at the Mayfield-Graves Animal Shelter.  He routinely herds the cats and kittens to their food dishes at feeding time then guards them while they eat.  His physical status has improved with his mental status.  He is still not steady on his feet, one leg is not functioning properly and his gait is wobbly.  His regular veterinarian and the consulting veterinarian both agreed that Laddie probably suffered a stroke as a result of the dragging.

Laddie went to live with Dale McKinney the Director of the Shelter as the veterinarians felt he would recover better in foster care.  Laddie’s hair is coming back and he frequently walks around with his brush in his mouth.  It was learned that Laddie has lived his life as an outside dog with very little human interaction while with Kelly. 

Update May 10, 2000:  Prior to the Court case on May 5th 2000, Kelly agreed to hand Laddie over to the Mayfield-Graves County animal shelter and to relinquish all rights of ownership in return for the charges being dropped.

Laddie remained in the home of Dale McKinney and her husband Terry along with 4 cats.  Laddie would not allow the cats on the furniture as he did not get on it but rather carried a comforter around the house for such purposes.  Sadly his health deteriorated over the ensuing weeks and his quality of life became so poor that Laddie was reluctantly euthanized in July 2000.

Reference:

Kentucky.com

The Herald Leader

The Animal Legal Defense Fund

Border Collie Rescue