Skip to Content

Teen pushing for legislation to prevent child abuse and neglect

By Jamie Mayes

Click here for updates on this story

    FRANKFORT, Kentucky (WLKY) — Fourteen-year-old Kiera Dunk of Oldham County says she’s doing all she can to protect another child from becoming the victim of abuse.

“I feel like they shouldn’t be in that situation at all,” said Dunk.

Kiera Dunk reached out to legislators to draft Kyan’s Law in remembrance of 10-year-old Kyan Higgins Jr.

“I’m hoping it’ll help get children out of dangerous situations where they’re being abused or neglected,” said Dunk.

Police say in April 2021, 10-year-old Kyan Higgins Jr was killed at his home on the 1200 block of Algonquin Parkway. His mother, Kaitlyn Higgins, admitted to shooting her son.

Records show Kaitlyn had been cited three times for dog neglect, and more than 20 complaints had been made to animal control. Kyan’s Law would require training for animal control officers to spot signs of child abuse and neglect and then report it. It’s legislation Kiera Dunk’s mother says is needed.

“I think it will change getting children out of abusive environments sooner rather than later,” said Brandi Dunk.

A sponsor of the legislation, Representative Susan Witten, provided a statement, which says:

“Kyan’s Law is so important because it gives us another tool that can help identify abuse and neglect in the home. Sadly, Kentucky is among the states with the highest reports of child abuse and neglect. Multiple studies have shown that there is a huge correlation between animal cruelty and violence against humans, especially children. What’s more, animal cruelty is often a predictive or co-occurring crime with violence against humans, so getting animal control officers trained to recognize abuse and neglect, as well the duty to report, will no doubt help vulnerable children in Kentucky.”

Please note: This content carries a strict local market embargo. If you share the same market as the contributor of this article, you may not use it on any platform.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - Regional

Jump to comments ↓

CNN Newsource


KTVZ NewsChannel 21 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content