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Ethan's journey sheds light on animal cruelty in Kentucky

On Thursday, an LG&E employee found a dog dead inside a crate abandoned in an alley — a stark contrast to Ethan's story of survival.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — As all eyes continue to be on Ethan's journey since being dropped off at the Kentucky Humane Society on January 29, his story of survival reminds everyone that there are many other pets in the area who do not get this same outcome.

"For every Ethan in this town, there are hundreds of this dog, who I named Brave heart," community advocate Tara Bassett said.

LG&E employee Brittni Allen was walking down an alley near West Kentucky Street on Thursday morning when she noticed something. Among the trash strewn across the alley was a crate with a dog inside.

"I thought the dog was alive," Allen said. "I tried to wake the dog up, but obviously it did not wake up."

But the brindle pit bull was already dead.

"It was locked in the crate with no food or water," Allen said. "There was some straw at the bottom and there was a blanket over top of it."

LMAS recovered the dog remains, which have been sent for necropsy. It will take a couple weeks to determine the cause of death, but LMAS said with the cold weather, they've seen an uptick in people calling about dogs left outside.

"We rescuers see this kind of torture, abuse and neglect every single day," Bassett said.

It's a stark reminder that as people celebrate the triumphs of dogs like Ethan, other dogs don't get the same fate.

"We are terrible with animal welfare in Kentucky," said Bassett.

According to the Animal Legal Defense Fund, Kentucky ranks in the bottom tier for animal welfare. There are bills currently in the legislature that address animal cruelty like HB-57 or 'Ethan's Law,' but there's very little chance the bill will pass as time runs out this session.

"There's shelters, there's so many other options versus leaving a dog outside to die. There's just too many other outlets for somebody to do that," Allen said.

LMAS said they are looking into this case and ask that anyone with information on the dog reach out to them.

RELATED: Kentucky lawmaker introduces bill protecting animals like dog left for dead outside KHS

RELATED: Ethan reunites with family that saved him as he continues to grow stronger

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