Tell the city how to improve animal abuse laws

bruiserThe city wants input into how to improve animal abuse and neglect laws.

Last year, Kansas City’s Animal Health and Public Safety officers rescued more than 3,900 abused and neglected animals by taking them to the city-owned animal shelter for care, the city said in a press release.

Most of those calls came after a concerned citizen called the city’s 311 Call Center reporting suspected abuse or neglect.

Now the city is looking for ways to improve the process.

Kansas City has made several changes in its animal abuse and neglect case procedures in recent years. In 2012, it increased enforcement and added a dedicated municipal court for neighborhood issues like animal control, a special investigator in animal control, and a dedicated city prosecutor, all working directly on animal control cases.

In 2013, the city council adopted an ordinance increasing fees for animal abuse cases and partnered with local supporters to provide additional resources and education for pet owners.

“Kansas City has made great strides to improve the system that prosecutes animal abuse offenders,” said City Manager Troy Schulte. “The city believes in the value of strong animal health and safety services, and we know that our residents want those services. Concerned citizens can help strengthen the ordinances that guide our daily work, by providing meaningful suggestions for improving our codes.”

For those who want to make suggestions, the city suggests reviewing Chapter 14 of Kansas City’s Code of Ordinances to make suggestions for improving response to complaints.

In addition to city law, these cases are governed by the 4th and 5th amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Because pets are considered property under the law, officers cannot remove an animal from the home unless conditions for care are repeatedly found to be inadequate. When officers are unable to remove a pet due to legal restrictions, they provide resources to help educate pet owners and to obtain food or other items needed to improve care for the pet, the city says

An online forum is now available to accept suggestions for improvement from residents at

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