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Animal shelter contractor pleads guilty to dumping euthanized dogs in Daniel Boone National Forest

A trail cam recorded this truck with dead dogs going to a site in the Daniel Boone National Forest — then returning without them.
A few days before last Christmas, a trail camera recorded this truck with dead dogs going to a site in the Daniel Boone National Forest — then returning without them. On March 26, a contractor with the McCreary County Animal Shelter pleaded guilty to illegally dumping the dogs.

A contractor for the McCreary County Animal Shelter will pay a thousand-dollar fine and clean up the area of the Daniel Boone National Forest where he dumped dogs that had been euthanized at the shelter. According to a statement from the U.S. Forest Service, Dester Phillips pleaded guilty March 26 in U.S. Magistrate Court in London to illegal dumping in a national forest. Nathan Nevels is McCreary County’s deputy judge-executive.

“It was bad that they left the collars on the animals, because that makes them look like a family pet. But they have a contract with that gentleman. He actually was very ill and was not able to bury them. Usually he buried them, but he had the flu.”

Nevels said despite this incident, shelter employees and volunteers do a good job.

“If we have a dog that is turned in, they give them at least 10 days. And they post on Facebook and ask folks, you know, ‘Hey, is this your animal? Please come claim that if so.’ So I just really appreciate them. They have a thankless job.”

The U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Attorney’s Office did not return calls asking how many dead dogs were dumped.

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John McGary is a Lexington native and Navy veteran with three decades of radio, television and newspaper experience.
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