S. Ind. woman signs over rights for seized dogs to shelter


by Anna Prendergast


Posted on January 26, 2010 at 5:47 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 26 at 7:26 PM

Should Fraze be allowed to get her dogs back?

After a two week fight, a southern Indiana woman has signed over her rights to her 38 dogs.

The dogs were seized and have been living at the Floyd County Animal Shelter after a couple says one of the dogs bit them.

It was a very emotional day in court for a southern Indiana woman fighting to keep her pets.

Two weeks ago, Katherine Fraze's dogs were seized from her sanctuary after the Floyd County Health Department ruled her property uninhabitable.

Katherine Fraze was very emotional in court Tuesday as she took on the Floyd County Animal Shelter in a New Albany courthouse.

The county took Fraze to court for the shelters cost from boarding her now 38 dogs.

Fraze had two options: post a bond to show good faith for past and future boarding fees or sign over the rights to the animals to the shelter.

"We’re signing over the dogs because my dogs would be in here for 3 months that's not what I want I want my dogs out of there," said Fraze.  

This means the Floyd County Animal Shelter will now evaluate the dogs to see which dogs are adoptable and won’t be put down. So far 3 have because of poor health or old ago,

“They maybe injured, those are the animals we need to make a decision on," said David Hall, Director of the Floyd County Animal Shelter.

Fraze's problems began two weeks ago when a couple says two dogs bit them when they were on Fraze's 130 acres in Floyd County where she lives and runs her a dog adoption business.

Indiana state law required the county to seize her dogs to test them for rabies. At the same time, Floyd County Health Department ruled Fraze's property "unlivable" because she didn't have a septic system.

Fraze originally had until Wednesday to get it installed but has been given a five day extension. Tuesday, Fraze said she wasn't going to comply.

“Dogs were seized by county 2 weeks ago; it's just another nail in the Katherine coffin. I was told today if I look like I’ve been at my property or sleeping there I was going to be arrested," said Fraze.

The Director of the Floyd County Health Department says Fraze must remove her holding tank she uses for waste and get a septic system to meet county codes.

If not she will be evicted and her mobile home could be condemned.

Fraze is back in court in February to see how much she owes the shelter in boarding fees.

Shelter will have an adopt-a-thon one day to adopt out all the 38 dogs.