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Archive for Saturday, July 25, 1998

NEW GUIDELINES IN ANIMAL CRUELTY CASES SOUGHT

July 25, 1998

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The executive director of the Lawrence Humane Society is hoping a resolution Douglas County commissioners are considering Monday will help the shelter cope with cruelty cases.

The resolution outlines procedures for the handling and euthanization of animals picked up due to cruelty or neglect. Commissioners will review two versions of the resolution. One would require the humane society to acquire commission approval before filing a petition in District Court to determine whether the animal may be placed for adoption for euthanized, and the other would allow the shelter to initiate the process without going to the commission.

``I'm hoping it will set forth a procedure to petition the county to either make the person pay me for the animal or to allow me to euthanize the animal if they're not adoptable,'' director Midge Grinstead said.

Currently, Grinstead is unable to do anything with the animal until the case is heard in court, except in cases where the dog, cat or other critter is clearly suffering.

The resolution would only apply in cases where the owner of the animal has been charged with violation of animal cruelty laws and the humane society has taken or been given custody of the animal or animals and one of two conditions exist:

  • The society has given notice or made reasonable attempts to notify the owner of the animal at least 20 days prior to the filing of the petition for placement or euthanization
  • The owner or custodian is not known or reasonably ascertainable after 20 days after the animal is taken into custody, unless the owner posts a bond for the animal's care.

If at least one of those conditions is met, the resolution allows the shelter to file a petition with the court to determine whether the animal may be placed for adoption or euthanized.

-- Deb Gruver's phone message number is 832-7165. Her e-mail address is dgruver@ljworld.com.

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