Jack LattaStaff Writer
July 26, 2012
GERMAN BRIDGE — The Floyd County Attorney’s office will file charges against Duane Conley, after new evidence was discovered this week in the animal cruelty case of Moo the Great Dane.
A Times report Wednesday told the story of a mistreated Great Dane named “Moo,” and the people in whose care he was found. Duane Conley and his wife, Ada Conley, were not charged by authorities with second-degree cruelty to animals on Monday when the dog was picked up, because Conley reportedly told Animal Control Officer Paul Marsillett that the dog was a stray which had wandered in a week prior.
On Monday, Marsillett said he and the county attorney’s office could not prosecute Conley because they could not prove he was the owner of the dog.
However, Conley told Times staff in an interview Wednesday that “Moo” wandered into the campground on June 19, and that he and his wife Ada Conley had been trying to nurse the animal back to health. In fact, Conley directed Times reporters to a Facebook page with photos of Moo, dated June 19.
After reviewing the photos, Assistant County Attorney Tyler Green said charges would be pending against the Conleys very soon.
Conley insisted the dog arrived in the camp in far worse condition than when he was picked up on Monday, but when Shauna Brown, manager of the Floyd County Animal Shelter was shown the pictures of Moo from the Conleys’ Facebook page, she said she saw a dog in significantly better health than the animal that was brought to her on Monday.
In an interview on Wednesday, Conley insisted he and his wife were trying to help.
“All we were trying to do was help him,” Conley said of the dog. “We gave him food and water.”
Conley also stated that reports that he is a county employee were incorrect. He says he is disabled and draws Social Security, and that he and his wife live modest lives on a fixed income. “I can’t afford to do any more than I’ve done. We live on a fixed income and we did all we could afford to do.”
“I work for good, not for evil,” said Conley.
Conley says the earlier report took the words of the Animal Control Officer and Animal Shelter and spun it. Conley admitted he had not read Wednesday’s story, but that people told him it had painted him badly.
It was confirmed that Conley does not work for the county. The Floyd County Fiscal Court leases the campground to the East Kentucky Trail Riders Association, and that group has employed Ada Conley as an independent contractor, who maintains the grounds of the camp.
When asked why he did not take the animal to a veterinarian or to the shelter, Conley said he thought the shelter would charge him, and that he had no means of transportation except for his van.
“The dog smelled real bad,” Conley said when asked why he did not use the van to transport the dog to a vet.
“I have a 2012 Chevy Silverado and the dog rode in my car,” Brown said. Brown asked on Wednesday, why, if Conley was trying to help the dog and nurse it back to health, it was chained up outside in the heat, where could be eaten by flies.
According to Brown, Moo required further surgery when it was a discovered the dog had a hematoma on its ear from intense scratching and biting due to the flies.
“All he had to do was call the animal control officer,” said Brown.
Conley said that Animal Control officer doesn’t come when called, and that he has reported a biting dog at the campground that the officer has yet to remove. Marsillett said Conley advised him of the biting dog when he was there to pick up Moo, but the dog was nowhere to be found. Marsillett also said he has retrieved several animals from the German Bridge area.
Brown says the shelter asks for a $3 donation when they take animals, but that she has never turned away a dog because someone couldn’t afford the donation.
“He may have had good intentions, and that’s great, but he went about it the wrong way,” Brown said. “The fact is, the dog was not getting the treatment it needed.”
Moo’s recovery has drawn a lot of attention, and Brown said on Wednesday that she had already had 50 calls and spoken with two television news agencies.
“He’s gotten a lot of attention because he is a Great Dane,” Brown said. “But we’ve had worse cases.”
Moo’s malnourishment is so severe, that as a nearly 1-year-old Great Dane he only weighs 48 pounds. Typical weight for 1-year-old male would be over 100 pounds. On Monday, Brown said that because the Great Dane breed generally does not enjoy a long lifespan, the treatment of Moo has probably shortened his lifespan to five years.
The Floyd County Animal shelter will accept donations from anyone who would like to help fund the veterinary bills of the dog. Those interested can contact the animal shelter at (606) 886-3189. Donations may be mailed to the Floyd County Animal Shelter at PO Box 1502 Prestonsburg, KY 41653.
The matter is still under investigation by Floyd County Animal Control.