The horses were taken in by Banks and his animal rescue group, Central Kentucky Equine Rescue. Mercer County Sheriff’s Office said the animals were “being malnourished and neglected. Several horses had not been fed for quite some time and other horses were forced to live in dangerous conditions.”
Banks also keeps rescue horses at a property in Lincoln County. Sheriff Curt Folger on several occasions investigated the conditions of those horses after complaints. “Upon our visits, however, there was always water and hay available for the horses,” Folger said.
Lincoln County Judge-Executive Jim W. Adams and Animal Control Officer Earlin “Dude” Cress also were familiar with Banks’ rescue operation in their county.
“Mr. Banks always appeared to be forthcoming, and honestly a nice guy with me,” said Cress. “I was called to his property after complaints as to how he was treating his horses, but while I was there, the animals had hay and water.”
Cress said he also drove by the property on which Banks’ rescue horses were located in Lincoln County.
“On some occasions, I did not see any hay bales, but then the next day, there would be three, or even four big rolls.”
Cress said it did not appear as if the horses were without any food for a prolonged period of time.
Adams said that if an investigation took place and revealed any signs of neglect, he would authorize the county to hire a vet to examine the animals that currently are in Banks’ care.
“In fact, we’ve got a lot of good vets in this county,” said Adams. “We’d probably have several step forth and examine the horses simply out of humanitarian reasons.”
Adams said no harm will come to any horses in his county, at least on his watch. “But at the same time, we have to observe the rule of law and proceed through the proper channels,” said Adams. “If you don’t proceed in that manner, you could end up messing up a situation in which you do have evidence of potential abuse.”
Adams noted that the sheriff would have to file a report of abuse and if there was enough evidence, the case would be followed up by County Attorney Daryl K. Day. “But as of now, there’s no evidence that Mr. Banks has abused any of his horses in Lincoln County.”