A Hardinsburg man has been charged with 24 counts of animal neglect following a report of a rotting smell coming from his property. 

The Washington County Sheriff’s Department began the investigation on Wednesday, July 28th at the property of Ryan Crum, 28, of South Green Mill Road, in Hardinsburg.

“We are investigating a case of serious animal neglect on the property involving multiple animals. The initial investigation has resulted in charges being filed,” reported Washington County Sheriff Brent Miller.

According to the probable cause affidavit, Washington County Sheriff’s Department Animal Control Officer Wimmer was dispatched to the property due to the report of an odor. 

Officer Wimmer also detected an odor upon arrival but could not identify the source. 

Wimmer spoke with property owner Crum and noted several dogs appeared to be dangerously underweight and emaciated. 

Additional dogs were discovered living in a locked semi-trailer with one door closed. 

Crum stated he could not find anyone to help him take the dogs to a veterinarian.  

Photographs were taken of the dogs and the living conditions.  These photographs were submitted to the State Veterinarian, Dr. Lovejoy. 

When consulted, Dr. Lovejoy expressed high concern for the condition of the dogs, particularly those locked in the trailer due to high temperatures. 

“The dogs from the property have been taken into custody and will be evaluated by the State Veterinarian,” said Sheriff Miller.

Crum was arrested on 24 counts of animal neglect.  The investigation remains ongoing. 

The charges filed in this case are merely allegations and all suspects are considered innocent unless or until proven guilty in a court of law.