Ordinance on animal abuse set in Purdy

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

New laws provide local enforcement for abandonment

The Purdy City Council has adopted new ordinances on animal neglect and abuse after a litter of kittens was left in the city recently.

The ordinance on neglect or abandonment of animals within the city limits, according to Police Chief Jackie Lowe, generally follows state statutes. Mayor Bo Prock said it replaces what the city repealed when adopting a new nuisance ordinance and proves direction locally.

“We had someone dump kittens in town over the weekend,” Lowe said. “We have no ordinance to charge them with. We have to send the case to [Barry County Prosecutor] Amy Boxx. We have dogs chained in the winter with no water or food. There’s nothing we can do.”

The ordinance defines animal neglect as a person who “has custody or ownership of an animal and fails to provide adequate care.” Abandonment was defined as having “knowingly abandoned an animal in any place without making provisions for its adequate care.”

The ordinance had additional provisions calling for fines in case of inadequate care or maintenance, and improperly disposing of dead or diseased animals. Failure to reduce organic debris affecting the immediate area and minimizing public health risks will also be grounds for fines.

An ordinance on abuse, Prock said, again outlined requirements set by state statutes.

Animal abuse was defined as intentionally or purposely killing an animal not allowed or exempted by state law, purposely or intentionally causing injury or suffering to an animal, and having ownership or custody while knowingly failing to provide adequate care, resulting in “substantial harm” to the animal.

Fines were listed between $25 and $500 dollars.

Both ordinances passed unanimously and went into effect immediately.

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