Kudos to Lebanon City Council for strengthening animal abuse law

Dogs

LDR file photo/Chris Roden

Dogs rescued by Lebanon Animal Control are shown here at the city pound. A new ordinance gives Animal Control more power in taking animals out of abusive situations.

By: 
FROM THE EDITORIAL BOARD OF THE LEBANON DAILY RECORD

A new definition of the animal cruelty will be a good thing for the city’s non-human residents, regardless of whether parts of it might be redundant.

In July, the heat soared and plants withered as Laclede County went without rain. During that time, a German shepherd named Duke died in its crate on Foxwood Court after being confined without access to water.

The Lebanon City Council responded to the dog’s death with an ordinance adds more detail to the city’s definition of animal cruelty. Called “Duke’s Law” by councilman Gib Adkins, the ordinance passed its first reading on Aug. 14 and its second reading on Monday.

Chapter 5, Article I, Section 5-11 of the city’s code of ordinance says that police officers can present an affidavit showing probable cause and apply to the city’s municipal judge for authorization to enter private property to inspect, care for, or impound neglected or abused animals.

However, until Monday the city’s definition of animal cruelty, located in Chapter 5, Article I, section 5-7 of the city code, was only one sentence long and didn’t specifically mention neglect. The old ordinance read, “It shall be unlawful for any person within the city to inhumanely, cruelly or unreasonably whip, beat or abuse any animal.” Under that ordinance, any other mistreatment would have at best fallen under a broad interpretation of the word “abuse.”

For the complete editorial, see the Weekend print edition of The Daily Record, or view the e-Edition online.

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The Lebanon Daily Record

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Lebanon, MO 65536
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