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Louisa-Lawrence Co, KY

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Richards says he was attacked by stray pit bull three times before he fired;


Dog Warden has received calls and even death threats from all over the nation


LOUISA, Ky. -- Lawrence County Dog Warden Bill Richards said today in a hastily called news conference at the court house that he was forced to shoot a stray animal last week but since a story from a Louisa woman surfaced on Facebook and YouTube about the incident, he has had dozens of calls -- and even death threats -- from all over the country.

Richards said he received a call on July 12 about 7:00 p.m. from the husband of Jessica Shane of North Locke Avenue saying there was a stray pit bulldog with no collar in his yard "growling" at his wife. Richards said he did not respond to the call that day but went to the residence the next day and found a young female pit bull (See video on Lazer front page) under an abandoned SUV with eight newborn puppies. 

"As soon as I stepped out of my vehicle the dog attacked me and attempted to bite me," Richards said. "I guess I got a little too close at first but I saw that the dog was being held by a 15 foot chain but the chain broke and the dog chased me around my vehicle two times"

Richards said he knows the dog was attempting to protect her pups and he looked for a way to control the dog by getting hold of the end of the chain where it had broken, which he did and quickly jumped back into his vehicle. The dog returned to her pups at that time. "There was a neighbor out there with kids and the complainant also had her kids with her so I told them not to bring the kids close to the dog," Richards said. "At that time I got out of my truck and shot a tranquilizer into the animal which put the dog on the ground at which time I dragged the dog away from her puppies."

He then attempted to get his catch pole from the back of his truck to collar the dog, but the tranqualizer had apparently worn off and the dog attacked him for the third time and he used his .22 calibre rifle to shoot the dog between the eyes killing it immediately.

"I really wanted to take the dog to the animal shelter but I have the right both as a citizen and an animal control officer to protect myself, and that's what I did," Richards told The Lazer. "It was unfortunate but I felt I had no choice." He then took the nine puppies one of which was already dead to the Lawrence County Animal Shelter where they were euthanized by shelter officials because they were too young to survive, he said. Richards does not work for the shelter, he says, and it was not his decision to euthanize the dogs.

He said he took the chain back to Ms. Shane the next day and she asked about the puppies and he told her what happened to them. Before I knew it she had put it out on Facebook and put a video of the dog and pups on YouTube and I've been inundated with calls ever since. They have even called the sheriff's office and asked if they could file a criminal complaint against me when I was only doing my job."

"I support Bill (Richards) and the action he took," said Lawrence County Judge/Executive John Osborne at the news conference. "The dog was obviously dangerous to the public and he did his job."


But Jessica Shane does not agree.

Here is  what she wrote to the website :


I have received many messages and calls about the dog that wandered in yesterday and gave birth to 8 puppies. I thought this was the best way to respond to everyone, or else I would be up all night. I'll just start at the beginning and tell the story of "Momma" and her babies.

She followed my husband home from work yesterday. We tried to make her leave but she wouldn't. Knowing the reputation of the breed, we called animal control. We got a voicemail box. We then called 911 and asked that someone come get her. They said they would dispatch the warden. We waited for a while and when nobody came, we decided to put her on a chain in our yard that way we could keep her away from our dogs and the kids until she was picked up. I gave her food and water and went back inside. 

Around 9:30 or 10:00, I went out to check on her and to see if she needed more water. It was then that I saw that she had dug a hole underneath my neighbor's vehicle and had given birth to a few puppies. She didn't bark when I approached. She greeted me and let me pet her as she gave birth to another puppy. Jasper came out and watched with me. 

There was one that wasn't breathing right off that I had to reach in and rub to get it to breathe. I handed the puppy to its mom and she cleaned it and it was fine. I called the animal shelter and left a message then that we had puppies. I went back inside for more water and went back out to find her struggling to birth her last pup. She let me rub her back with one hand and help pull the puppy out with the other. It was fine, she cleaned it up and looked up at me like she was thanking me. I moved her food and water close to the puppies so she wouldn't have to go far.

I sat with her and watched the puppies being cute and snapped a few pics now and then. After I was sure she had delivered her last puppy, and seeing that she was doing good, I checked the weather to make sure there was no rain moving in. I was afraid a storm would flood the hole and the puppies would drown. I saw the radar was mostly clear so I went to bed. 

I set my alarm to wake me every two hours to check the weather.

I got up and went out sometime around 7/730. She was happy to see me. She licked my face and hands. The puppies were all doing well, moving around the hole Momma had dug. I kept picking them up and giving them to her when they would crawl away from her. She accepted my help gracefully. She was very sweet and affectionate, and showed a lot of love toward me and her puppies. I emailed someone I had adopted a dog from to ask for help. She was on vacation and she still emailed and called people to help me. The humane society doesn't adopt out pit bulls, but the were willing to take her in and let her raise her puppies there and worry about the breed later. They were going to give these dogs a second chance. 

They were willing to help them find homes.

I stayed out most of the morning talking to neighbors, and warning those out walking their dogs that we had a pit with babies and to be cautious. I took my girls to the library for story hour and came back home to check on her. I called the vet to see if there was anything else I should do for them. I gave her some fresh water and food. I then left to go get my son at his dad's. I was gone for maybe 15 minutes, and came back to find the warden in my driveway. I told the kids to stay in the van and I got out to talk to the warden. 

He looked at me and said "don't, just don't". All I wanted was to tell him the situation and that we had arrangements made for them. He then told me he had tranquilized her, and was within his rights to shoot her on the spot. He said she attacked him and chased him down the street, but she was on a 15' chain. She was still on the chain when he shot her. He pulled the stake up and took it with him when he put her body in a cage.

I wasn't here to see what did or didn't happen. I can't point a finger or say that no attack happened, because I am aware that the breed is aggressive. The pieces just don't add up. If he had waited til I was home, I could have moved her and the puppies into the crate without struggle. I know that she calms down very quickly and will comply if you speak in a soothing voice. The killings didn't have to happen. It could have been prevented. 

I emailed my contact at the humane society and told them what had happened. I felt awful. I didn't know what to do. The warden returned to my house a short while later to return the chain and stake that Momma was on. I asked him about the puppies, if they were at the shelter, and he just said "they didn't make it, they died like their mom. Even with a heroic effort they would never have made it". He seemed so cold, and had a bit of a smirk when he told me. 

I don't think she or the puppies got any effort from the warden. It was the end of the day, she was a pit, she barked at him because she was protecting her babies and he just didn't want to put forth the effort. 

I heard from the humane society and they are as stunned as I am. They assured me that he does not work for or at the shelter, and that they do not operate that way. This was in no way their fault. The humane society was bending their policy and going to allow her to raise her puppies there and worry about the breed later. They were very helpful through all of this. The warden is employed by the county and his actions should be reflected on them and not the animal shelter. 

It was a heartbreaking experience. I didn't have the heart to tell my kids the truth. They went to bed believing they had all been adopted. I really hate that things ended like they did. I have a small yard, with a dog outside and one inside. With three small kids I just couldn't keep a pit with 8 puppies in my back yard. I had no shelter to provide them. I wish I would have been home when the warden came, because I believe the outcome would have been different. 

So, thank you to everyone that showed support. I wish that I could have done more. The kind words and concern really helps me cope with what happened here today. So I am going to bed now and wake up tomorrow and hope that nobody has to go through everything that we did. Thanks so much everyone! For everything. I appreciate all of the displays of love and the encouragement. Goodnight.

Jessica Shane


Richards said the calls he has been receiving are mostly from out of state people but he wants everyone to know his side of the story as well as what Ms. Shane wrote on the website.

"All I can say is that I was just doing my job, and I felt I had to shoot the dog or I wouldn't have done it," Richards said. "These things happen and it is my job to protect the public and myself from dangerous animals and that's all I did."


-1 #227 Sam Austen 2014-11-25 15:45
The dog attack him he had the right to shoot it
-1 #226 hehehehe 2014-08-28 13:40
haha cool
+1 #225 Joy 2013-05-01 01:23
Wow, this happened 2 years ago, but I just read it after seeing a linked on an animal welfare site and I'm just fuming!!! What a spineless, weak, sap this Bill guy is. It was such a cowardly disgusting act to shoot a dog dead that was just trying to protect her pups. Rest in peace sweet Momma and babies, know that there are humans here that love you.
+2 #224 Barbara West 2011-12-17 20:31
Has this low life been fired yet?If not...WHY not?I understand his office has received calls and emails from around the WORLD..what ELSE is required to see the back of him..moving AWAY?
+1 #223 Lydia 2011-11-09 10:54
Country Boy,

That mother dog was not an "it". She was a PRECIOUS living being who was just trying to survive in a wicked world!
Also, it is clear from the 'you tube' video the mamma dog was not vicious at all as you had claimed. You are full of much confusion and hate, Country Boy.

Bill Richards is working in the wrong field. Bill Richards needs to quit his job; immeditately! It is time for you to go find employment elsewhere, Bill Richards. What a liar you are. You could not keep your story straight as to what really had happened to that precious pooch, could you, Bill? Mr. Richards, you killed that poor mamma dog in cold blood. Quit your job, Bill. YOU ARE IN THE WRONG LINE OF WORK!
+1 #222 Lydia 2011-11-09 10:30
Bill Richards is working in the wrong field. What a cold-hearted man. Karma is two minutes from Mr. Bill Richards' flabby butt.
0 #221 Val 2011-08-20 08:06
Just because this POS served in the military does NOT make him a hero! He is a low-life on a power trip who CLEARLY knows nothing about animals, and should not be in a position of authority, let alone allowed to carry a firearm! LOSER!
0 #220 wendy68 2011-08-17 20:17
Quoting I support Bill:
Here's a thought. Had Bill been able to bring the dog back to the shelter, would the result been any different? They would've euthanized an aggressive dog. And I'm guessing next you would be saying "but the puppies! They would be alive!" How many dogs already don't have a home? The world really needed 10 more puppies in a shelter? Who's to say they would even be placed? Maybe focus your energy on helping those that can still be helped. People on here seem to be dog lovers, how about actually donating to a shelter or volunteering to be a foster. What happened happened and its obvious why people are upset. But seriously, will arguing on here and bashing Bill serve any real purpose at all?

It would have been much different - he would have done his job,the mandatory stray hold would have been implimented (the LAW) and the rescue originally contacted would have had time to take and place the dog and puppies.WOW -imagine the possibilities available when people actually THINK!
"Bashing Bill"? or demanding accountability? Your county is in rough shape if you hold public employees to a lower standard than anyone else, especially the ones that get to carry guns.....
I live in a city of 110,000 and our city shelter is NO-KILL.In fact,they transport dogs from the south and midwest from high kill shelters.The key is not funding -its knowledgable people that come up with solutions to pet overpopulation, foster homes,training, vetting and PUBLIC EDUCATION.BTW - I do foster,I do volunteer and I do fund raise for SEVERAL rescues and our shelter - and I can pretty much guarantee I've handled more dogs in 6 months than Bill has in a lifetime.
0 #219 wendy68 2011-08-17 19:52
Quoting AK:
Bill Richards is an American hero who has completed multiple deployments to the middle east with the US ARMY to defend your right to speak your peace. So show some respect and quit worrying about some stupid dogs that the woman called and complained about anyways!

There are approx. 1.7 million Iraq and Afghanistan veterans in the US.I was not aware that serving in the military made you immune to scrutiny.
Bill is a public employee which makes him accountable for his actions to the public -regardless of what he did in the past. Part of his job allows him the priveledge of carrying a weapon.His accountability to the public is now two-fold.If he can not carry out the basic duties of his job without firing his weapon within range of residences (by his own admission -in the prescence of children) -then I would say- his actions DEMAND scrutiny.
"..stupid dogs the woman called and complained about anyway." - I don't think she would have called if she knew then what she knows now.No one expects dog wardens to show up a day later and shoot up the place.That would be why the county pays for and suplies them with catch poles and tranquilizers.F unny -the woman was able to chain the dog but Bill- with all the tools at his disposal and supposed experience that I would assume would be a job requisit(obviou sly NOT)could not effectively contain the dog.So is it "stupid dogs" or stupid Bill?
0 #218 wendy68 2011-08-17 19:28
I see you hold public employees to a much lower standard than the rest of us.Bill is responsible for the situation at hand.If you find it distasteful that a person PAID to preform a duty, fails miserably, lies about it and gets caught as "drama", then your priorities are skewed.I call it "accountability ". If I screwed up at my job, then lied about it -I would get fired and rightfully so.But then again, I actually have a work ethic and take pride in the fact that I do my job very well and earn my pay.I have managed employees such as Bill, all in all not "bad" people but a waste of time and payroll.Add to that the fact that Bills pay comes from the backs of the tax payers -many of whom are hard working people, many who may not collect 3 paychecks from the county and spend most of their time at the B.S ing at the court house -makes Bills actions even more "dramatic".
+1 #217 Chelsea Madison 2011-08-02 17:19
Lawrence County Dog Warden Bill Richard's story is full of contradictions. I have experience tranquilizing dogs, and it is highly unlikely that the dog woke up and was immediately able to attack him.
Also, if Jessica Shane has possession of the 'unbroken chain', the warden said the dog broke free from, it would again indicate that Bill Warden's account was severely lacking in credibility.
I's also be curious to know how Bill Richard's was able to shoot a Pitt Bull violently attacking him directly between the eyes. His story seems highly unlikely.
He should be fired, at the very least, and someone who cares about animal welfare should be hired in his place.
0 #216 UGH theDRAMA 2011-07-30 06:19
Get your story straight! The following is copied from this paper regarding the reason the woman called Richards...READ!

"(Richards)he received a call on July 12 about 7:00 p.m. from the husband of Jessica Shane of North Locke Avenue saying there was a stray pit bulldog with no collar in his yard "growling" at his wife".

The dog was accused of growling at the woman! The dog was shot for attacking the man!
The pupppies were taken to the SHELTER...where the workers at the shelter KILLED them! NOt Richards.
0 #215 Janette 2011-07-29 23:41
So many things are just wrong with this entire thread. I am a pitbull owner and breed supporter. When you own a pit bull, you have to go above and beyond and eliminate any chance that you or your dog will bring bad attention or media that will discriminate against the breed.

Now being non breed specific, none of us really know the whole situation and how it played out because we weren't there. Even though this dog was not aggressive to Stephanie or her husband, we really don't know that it wasn't towards Mr. Richards. All dogs are capable of biting especially under stressful conditions such as this one. There are many different ways that this situation could have been handled and there could have been many different outcomes. I personally believe that Mr. Richardson made a bad decision in shooting the dog, but the man doesn't deserve to be getting threats on his life because of it. People going overboard with the cussing and threatening of Mr. Richardson is only contributing to the bad reputations of pit bulls and their owners. Take a step back before posting any rude comments and realize that we all want to protect our breed but attacking a man that made a bad decision is not going to accomplish anything other than making pit bull owners look bad.

I agree that the puppies could have been saved, there are plenty of rescues that would have stepped in and cared for the puppies.

The only way that we are going to be able to stop incidents like this from happening is to educate and better the reputation of the breed and eliminate the hate.
0 #214 PitMomma 2011-07-26 21:28
Pitbulls are aggressive if they are TRAINED to be, and there are way too many ignorant people out there who need to be educated on them........may dog wardens should have to go through extensive training on each breed?
0 #213 Amanda 2011-07-26 02:54
Quoting animal lover:
A beautiful blind Husky wandered into my yard on Sunday. It had evidently broken the chain from it's home because part of it was dangling from the collar. THANK GOD I did NOT call for this callous cruel man to pick it up. Instead, I walked from door to door, up and down streets until I finally found the owner who had been looking for him. Shame on ANYONE who defends this 'dog warden'--for it is evident his story has more holes in it than swiss cheese. A picture is worth a thousand words--the video speaks VOLUMES. Accolades to Ms. Shane for exposing this heartless individual. Were the puppies perceived as a 'threat' as well? They could have survived with proper feedings and care. This story makes me realize those hours of walking and searching to find the Husky's owner was the ONLY option-to have done otherwise could have been a FATAL MISTAKE.

You made the best choice,rather then calling this monster to come pick up the husky.Yes his story does have many holes in it.I don't care if he was in the army he is far from being a hero!Bill Richards is one pathetic POS coward!
0 #212 mary marineau 2011-07-26 01:00
Animals do have a voice. If you ignore their suffering, I will remind you of it. If you don't understand them, I will translate. If you don't hear them, I will be their voice. You may silence them but you cannot silence me as long as I live.
0 #211 mary marineau 2011-07-26 00:54​adlines/98083109.html

this beatuiful

Pit bull warns family, saves infant during fire
A home is destroyed but a family of 3 is alive thanks to Thor, the pit bull being called a hero.
0 #210 Cindy 2011-07-25 15:42
Quoting New York:
I'm not buying this story. First the chain broke, then the tranquillizer wore off. Sounds like this guy will say anything to justify his actions. Bet he's done this before just didn't get caught. Fire him. He doesn't have what it takes to be a warden.

As a former animal control officer myself, I think I can say with some certainty that if the chemical tranquilizer was enough to put the dog 'out,' then the dog did NOT magically 'snap to' within the time frame implied by this dog warden. NO WAY. And even if the dog had, she'd have been too unsteady and incoherent to 'attack.'
0 #209 Cindy 2011-07-25 15:36
Quoting janie:
call PETA 757-622-7382 tell them what he did .they dont like abusers like him ,they need to investigste such a hilljack that he is.he would not fit in hillbilly league .

PETA kills too:
-1 #208 Kathy 2011-07-25 00:44
Any Dog Warden would have known from the start that any dog you don't just jump out of your truck and go running like a bull in a china shop to deal with. If he had any experience he would assess the situation and known that she would be wanting to make sure she protected her pups. He had no desire to take her out of there alive. He saw she was a "pit" and he was going to kill her plain and simple. Sorry but if she was still on that chain like Ms. Shane claims she couldn't chase him around that truck 2 times. Also, Ms. Shane was NOT the one who called the warden, it was her husband..get the facts straight!
We need to stop placing breed specific restrictions on dogs and realize that its the owners who cause dogs to act out on their behaviors. Only way to have good behaviors is having your dogs healthy, trained well and good socialization. Placing a dog on the end of a chain isn't a good option.
0 #207 Thomas 2011-07-23 04:09
Quoting AK:
Bill Richards is an American hero who has completed multiple deployments to the middle east with the US ARMY to defend your right to speak your peace. So show some respect and quit worrying about some stupid dogs that the woman called and complained about anyways!

Are you KIDDING! So he joined the armed forces to satiate his Rambo fantasies. He gets hardened and bitter by the horror of war, and comes back to continue his atrocities on life - now on innocent animals... and you call him a hero?

I would call him more of backwoods thug.
0 #206 Laura Lee 2011-07-23 02:03
27 years of service has obviously destroyed whatever capacity for empathy and compassion this man may have had. A real hero to put a bullet between a nursing mother's eyes. The problem with all you good ole boys is that you no longer possess the ability to be compassionate. My father was in the service in WWII and he would have never have shot a dog, much less a nursing mother. Some war for pit bull attacks - they rank about 5th or 6th. Nobody ever prints the other animal attacks. Dog bigots who are uneducated.
0 #205 Jake Dimino 2011-07-22 20:34
So what he served in the military- does this make him an angel? Many men served, in various wars and they didn't/don't act like the barbarian this Warden is. (What if that dog is actually someone's pet that got loose? What does he say if they suddenly realize that was their dog he killed?) The homeowner who called Warden Tough Guy could handle this dog AND her new born pups- but Mr. Big Shot Dog Warden was chased by the dog on a 15 foot chain? Puhlease-what fool buys that story? How did this jerk off ever survive in the military if a nursing mother dog scared him into shooting her? HE LIES LIKE A RUG. He thinks he got away with something- but GOD SAW WHAT HE DID AND WE GET AWAY WITH NOTHING IN LIFE. Stop using military status as some sort of measure of the content of someone's character. Many military men are good but not all that serve are noble. Look at the former serviceman who gunned down 4 innocent people in order to score drugs in a pharmacy on Long Island. There is a nice big dose of karma waiting for THE TOUGH GUY DOG WARDEN
0 #204 Dog Lover 2011-07-22 03:47
Quoting Laura:
Quoting country boy:
why do people make things so inadequate look so huge. the warden was doing his job. and now that obviously vicious dog cant hurt anyone else. i would have shot it too.

Ok and what about the pups?

Evidentally, you didn't read the whole story. This dog was not vicious at all. Back hill Billy Bob just got his jollies from shooting an innocent animal and her newborns. Maybe the problem is you also are from eastern Kentucky and can't read
0 #203 Dog Lover 2011-07-22 03:39
Quoting AK:
Bill Richards is an American hero who has completed multiple deployments to the middle east with the US ARMY to defend your right to speak your peace. So show some respect and quit worrying about some stupid dogs that the woman called and complained about anyways!

We appreciate his service in the military. However, we DO NOT appreciate this act of animal cruelty. He may have been justified in killing the mother. Nobody was there to see what happened (unless there were witnesses). The killing of eight innocent one day old puppies is unacceptable. His statement, he says "even a heroic act would not have saved these pups". That is bull. Newborn pups who's mothers have died, will survive with help of people. Yes,it's hard work and a lot of care for the pups. But there are volunteers out there willing to help. I would have been one. This guy just got his jollys from killing innocent animals. Even the woman said he was cold and had a smirk on his face when he said the pups didn't make it. His quote "they died like thier mother". What did he do, put a bullet between their eyes also. His story just doesn't add up. He will be investigated and hopefully charged under Romeo's law (which is a federal charge against animal cruelty).

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