Mary Beth Sallee
Reporter, Hart County News-Herald
Former Hart County Jail employee, James Kersey, has been charged with cruelty to animals in the second degree.
According to Kentucky State Police (KSP) Trooper Daniel Priddy, the charge was filed on February 26 in connection with the alleged mistreatment of Ragnar, the jail’s German Shepherd K9.
Kentucky Revised Statute (KRS) Section 525.130, cruelty to animals in the second degree, addresses instances of cruel or injurious mistreatment through abandonment, mutilation, beating, torment, or failure to provide adequate basic needs such as food, drink, or health care or subjecting an animal to cruel neglect.
Cruelty to animals in the second degree is a Class A misdemeanor. The punishment that can be imposed for a Class A misdemeanor is a fine up to $500 and/or up to one year in jail.
This is an ongoing investigation. No further information was available from KSP as of press time.
Ragnar is currently under the care and supervision of Hart County Jailer Israel Bergenson.
“Ragnar loves the lake, but he is not the best fishing partner,” Bergenson said. “He wants to play in the water too much, but he does like riding the boat. Ragnar will remain at my home and under my personal care. I do take him to the jail most days, and anybody is welcome to come by the jail to see him.”
A full story regarding Kersey, K9 Ragnar, and the Hart County Jail ran in the February 4 issue of the Hart County News-Herald. This story can be read online at www.jpinews.com/2021/02/02/jail-former-deputy-under-scrutiny-for-condition-of-k9.