Couple pleads “not guilty” in Mercer County animal cruelty case

The incident has sparked concern and anger from animal advocates, including the Harrodsburg-Mercer County Humane Society.
Humane Society

HARRODSBURG, Ky (WTVQ)- Two people charged in an animal cruelty case in Mercer County went before a judge Monday for the first time.
Michael and Katrina Cain are accused of abandoning two dogs without food or water for four months. The couple pleaded “not guilty” during the arraignment.

The incident has sparked concern and anger from animal advocates, including the Harrodsburg-Mercer County Humane Society.

“This is not misdemeanor treatment,” said Karen Aubrey of the society. “This is not an accident, this is not someone passed away and no one knew. This is intentional.”

The dogs, named Titan and Rocket, were rescued from the Mercer County Sheriffs Office after a neighbor called in. The dogs were left abandoned without food or water for four months, according to the sheriffs office. Their bodies were so thin that their ribs and back bones stuck out. Titan survived by eating rocks, which were found in his stomach.

“The dogs were starved within hours of their life,” said Aubrey.

The humane society and other advocates are now calling on lawmakers to do more to increase the penalties in cases like this. Currently, the couple is facing four counts of animal cruelty, which are misdemeanors under Kentucky law.

“We need stronger laws,” said Aubrey. “Laws that carry more punch, more impact. And have stronger consequences so that people know we’re not gonna tolerate that.”

After the court appearance, ABC 36 asked the Cain’s for an interview. They declined.
They’re due back in court in August.

State lawmakers are considering legislation to hold owners of animals convicted of abuse, accountable. The legislation would require those charged to help pay for the animal’s care.

In the meantime, the humane society is just working getting the animals healthy.

“We plan on getting them well, trying to help not only their physical trauma, but their emotional trauma,” said Aubrey. “Keep them safe. And we’re not trying to exhibit the dogs. We are trying to use them as a compassionate example of what happens and what can happen and how horrific it is, because none of us want to look at this.”

To help with vet bills, the Mercer County Humane Society and the Commonwealth Animal Hospital in Harrodsburg are accepting donations.

You can donate by calling the animal hospital at 859-734-2245 or by sending a check to the Commonwealth Animal Hospital at 1058 N College Street, Harrodsburg, Kentucky, 40330 with the attention to “Titan Or Rocket, Mercer Humane Society.”

You can also call the Mercer County Humane Society to donate by calling 859-734-9500.

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