Next week is the earliest that any charges might be filed in the case of a raccoon mauling at the Boyle County Fair, a local prosecutor said Monday.
An officer with the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources is the lead investigator, but he won't be able to finish the inquiry until he has completed a previously scheduled, mandatory week of training, said Boyle County Attorney Richard Campbell.
"So he's not going to be able to complete his investigation until the first part of next week," Campbell said.
On Friday, after a coon dog treeing contest, several spectators encouraged a "raccoon drag" in the horse ring. That involved putting dogs in the horse ring and letting them fight over the raccoon. Danville police stopped the incident; the raccoon was alive but severely injured.
After conferring with Danville police and local animal control, the Fish & Wildlife officer will share the results of the investigation with Campbell for possible prosecution.
"I think there are any number of things we'll be able to pursue on it, although I don't know for sure yet," Campbell said. Before any charges are filed, a number of steps must be completed.
"Number one, we have to ascertain what occurred," Campbell said. "Number two, who are the individuals involved and what did they do? And number three, what, if any, charges can be lodged against them? And the secondary consideration is, if we can lodge these charges, can we prove them beyond reasonable doubt?"
Fair Board president M. Ryan Owens issued an apology Sunday about the incident, saying, "no one on the fair board or myself was informed or approved this. We do not condone or support any activities like this at our fairgrounds nor will we ever. We wish to apologize to everyone and promise to work with all officials to resolve this matter."