(Staff photo by Phyllis McLaughlin/pmclaughlin@madisoncourier.com)
(Staff photo by Phyllis McLaughlin/pmclaughlin@madisoncourier.com)
After taking in the “Bedford 13,” as she calls them, Ellie Troutman began to work with state legislators to help toughen animal abuse laws in Kentucky, which are very lax, she said.

This past session, House Bill 200 was passed, allowing a court to order an offender found guilty of second-degree cruelty to animals to pay full restitution for the upkeep of a horse involved in the offense, as well as to terminate the offender’s interest in the horse involved. In the Marlena Robinson case, both of these had to be negotiated.

But still, even with better laws, Troutman knows that there will be more horses to rescue.

Because of too much rain early in the growing season and too little this past month, hay will be scarce this year. Even those who, like Troutman, own farms will be market to buy hay. Those with means can afford the rising prices, but Troutman knows there will be someone out there who might not be able to afford to feed their animals and will feel too ashamed to ask for help.

“Those people like Marlena, they’re not going to make it,” she said, and advised that people keep an eye out for their neighbors and others they know who own horses.

Watch for signs that help is needed and, if possible, offer it without shaming the owner, because that only makes it less likely for people to ask for help when they need it.