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September 30, 2020

DEAR FRIENDS, 

The following is from WTVQ ABC in Kentucky.  It's based on a press release we sent out yesterday, and is the beginning of a major new turn on our fight against cockfighting.

The evidence we obtained from a public records request to the Clay County Sheriff's department, which is detailed in the article, is truly shocking; not only do we now have definitive proof that law enforcement knew of and allowed a major criminal cockfighting venue to operate for years, but we have the Public Affairs Officer for the Clay County Sheriff's department threatening that, “Shark guys gonna go missing.”

That's right; a law enforcement officer is threatening the lives of SHARK investigators! That's how corrupt and dangerous cockfighting is in Kentucky.

We will have much more on this important issue soon, but right now we want you to have this story. Please share it on social media.  You can read the entire story and share it using this link.
 
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CLAY COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – A group that has gone after cockfighting in Kentucky all summer is calling on the FBI to investigate and Gov. Andy Beshear to pursue action.

Last June, animal protection groups Showing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK) and the Humane Farming Association launched what they call an “on-the-ground campaign against illegal cockfighting operations” in the Kentucky counties of Clay, Butler and McCreary.

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As part of its undercover work, SHARK submitted public records requests to the sheriff’s office to find out what officers knew about the cockfight.

The results suggested law enforcement from state trooper Logan Wolfe to Clay County Sheriff Patrick Robinson knew about the fights. Law enforcement tended to claim ignorance of the law as part of the reason. Robinson said the same thing i July in an interview with the Lexington Herald-Leader, saying his deputies weren’t aware it was a criminal offense.

“I said we all have a black eye no matter what we do. He [the owner of the cockfight venue] asked me if it was illegal, and what to do. He more or less wanted to know what we could do to continue to let him fight chickens…he said we’ve done it for years, and always gotten away with it. He led the conversation to believe that the SO [Sheriff’s Office] and KSP [Kentucky State Police] has let him do it. Now, that’s true. We don’t stop it, because no one knows for sure what the crime is. Other than gambling,” Wolfe said in a text exchange handed over as part of the records request and shared by SHARK.

Law enforcement weren’t always nice in talking about the SHARK undercover work either, according to the texts, at times disparaging them.

Referring to some of the comments, SHARK President Steve Hindi said he plans to “take appropriate legal action” in a instance where a Clay County officer suggests a SHARK worker “might go missing.”

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