Ethan’s Journey to End Animal Torture/Restraint

2021 House Bill 57 Needs Support

02/14/2021…Shamrock Pet Foundation received word that Ethan, a dog left in the Kentucky Humane Society’s parking lot, inspired Rep. Chris Freeland (R) to introduce a bill that would amend the current animal torture law (KRS 525.135) and upgrade the punishment for crimes involving cats and dogs to a Class D Felony.  It would also “add specific acts to definition of torture.” Please ask your representative to support, co-sponsor, and vote for HB-57. Call 1-800-372-7181.

You can read the House Bill at

03/10/2021…Ethan has been adopted!  You can read more about Ethan’s journey at

A recent post from tells more of what is being proposed to help animals like Ethan:

Kentucky lawmaker introduces bill protecting animals like dog left for dead outside KHS

HB-57 has to do with the torture of a dog or a cat, and specifically adds to the definition of torture. The bill already has bipartisan support.

February 3, 2021 … LOUISVILLE, KY. — One Kentucky lawmaker is pushing for a bill that he says will help animals like Ethan, a dog left for dead outside the Kentucky Humane Society.

State Rep. Chris Freeland (R) introduced House Bill 57 on January 5, 2021. The bill currently has 36 sponsors, both Republicans and Democrats.

“I’m just trying to make sure Kentucky moves up the ladder somewhat on our animal welfare rules. I think right now we’re 47th or 49th in the nation, so this is another step to move us in the right direction,” Freeland said.

According to the 2020 Animal Protection U.S. State Laws Rankings Report, Kentucky ranked 47th in animal protection laws.

HB-57 is meant to amend state law by adding definitions to torture, and change torture from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class D felony.

Torture will include things like crushing and burning; food, water and shelter deprivation; or restraint. Restraint will be defined as confining a dog or cat to a finite space where the animal cannot escape.

“This is really dealing with the worst of the worst types of actions that people may do, and as you know, the story with Ethan,” said Freeland.

Ethan was left at KHS Friday. When staff got to him, he was barely alive. They believe he was in a crate and deprived of food and water.

Freeland said Ethan’s case is one of many, saying many stories are not being reported because people are just discarding animals, not even giving them to authorities.

He said he is hoping that by making this a felony, it will encourage more people to come forward. With other high priority bills up this session, Freeland said he thinks this bill has a chance, especially considering what happened to Ethan. At this point, they’re waiting for a committee assignment.

Livestock is not mentioned in the bill, as it is specifically referring to dogs and cats.

Source:  Kristin Goodwillie, WHAS 11 TV