Animal Abuse Laws Need To Be Tougher

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Editor:

The recent murders by drowning in Star Valley of seven newborn puppies, and the attempted murder of an eighth, is both appalling and heinous. But even more shameful is the inability of a court judge to find this pet owner guilty of animal cruelty and/or abuse. This was not the judge's fault, so I will not mention her name.

The responsibility lies in the laws and ordinances related to animal abuse, and not in the lack of judicial activism.

Star Valley, and perhaps all Rim Country communities, need to review and re-write their related animal cruelty ordinances so that offenses like these will not be without consequences, but will be prosecutable. (Payson's recently enacted leash laws convince me that the city councils can find the time for this.)

As for the pet owner: the first and foremost requirement for pet ownership is the acceptance of responsibility for the well-being of the animal, and that includes the responsibility for the well-being of its offspring. There are options if the latter cannot be undertaken; i.e., low-cost spay/neuter programs and, failing preventive measures, the adoption services provided by the Payson Humane Society ... or, even just the old-fashioned way of taking the time to personally find good homes for the puppies. Drowning them should not be an option open to any pet owner!

We may all be living in the hills, but that does not mean that we must condone hillbilly behavior.

Robert M. Lantry

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