A mild-mannered western Kentucky farmer who never turned away a stray cat left a portion of his estate to every county-run animal shelter in the state.
County officials received checks earlier this month for $1,432.47 from a man they never met, a Muhlenberg County dairy farmer named Bland Hardison.
Hardison died in 2008 at age 86 and had set up in his will a gift for the state's animal shelters, said his widow, Jonell Hardison. In total, Hardison set aside nearly $1 million in donations to various charities upon his death, and the estate took years to settle.
Jonell Hardison said Wednesday that her husband loved his pets and even the strays that would wander onto the farm.
Concerned citizens protested Tuesday morning outside the Taylor County animal shelter. The shelter will be closed to the public in April, and will instead, become a holding facility. Animals won’t be available for adoption by the public. Instead they will be transferred to other county shelters after spending one day in the holding facility.
Harry Reif is president of the Taylor County SPCA. He, among others, is looking for answers.
"It's Taylor county tax money that pays for the shelter, and the people of Taylor county feel they should have a voice in how it's operated and what the facility is used for," suggests Reif.