Former jail employee charged with animal cruelty

Former Hart County Jail employee James Kersey, seen here in March of 2019 with K9 Ragnar, has been charged with cruelty to animals in the second degree. Photo by Mary Beth Sallee.

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.

Ragnar in September of 2020, after being under the care and supervision of former jail employee James Kersey. Photo submitted

K9 Ragnar is currently under the care and supervision of Hart County Jailer Israel Bergenson. Photo submitted.

1 Comment

  1. Cheryl D Lewis on April 12, 2021 at 5:29 pm

    I’m very pleased that Ragnar is getting some justice for the terrible abuse he went through. I do wish the punishment for animal abuse was much greater. KY really needs to rethink animal cruelty laws, add in the fact that this dog was a K9 officer.
    I’m following this story closely. I’m hoping all the facts, details and truth come about about how this terrible situation happened.

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