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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Letter: Sheriff has the authority for animal control

  • In the October 24-25 issues of the Sentinel and the Mirror, candidate for Sheriff Captain Andy Dedeke was mistaken in saying that "the Sheriff's Department has neither the legal authority nor the responsibility to handle animal control."
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  • To the editor:
    In the October 24-25 issues of the Sentinel and the Mirror, candidate for Sheriff Captain Andy Dedeke was mistaken in saying that "the Sheriff's Department has neither the legal authority nor the responsibility to handle animal control."
    According to County Resolutions 1995-26, 2001-52, and 2006-41, the Sheriff's Department is the Animal Control Authority for unincorporated Leavenworth County.
    The Sheriff's Department is responsible for enforcing Kansas Statutes, which includes investigating and prosecuting crimes against the public morals, such as animal abuse, to include abandonment (KSA 21-6412 thru 21-6418).
    The word "Sheriff" appears 35 times in relation to Sheriff's Department responsibility for handling stray animals in a document published by the Kansas Department of Agriculture, Division of Animal Health.
    According to KSA 47-1701 (the Kansas Pet Animal Act) "Animal control officer" means any person employed by, contracted with or appointed by the state, or any political subdivision thereof, for the purpose of aiding in the enforcement of this law, or any other law or ordinance relating to the licensing or permitting of animals, control of animals or seizure and impoundment of animals, and includes any state, county or municipal law enforcement officer, dog warden, constable or other employee, whose duties in whole or in part include assignments which involve the seizure or taking into custody of any animal.
    Currently, the Sheriff's Department is the only agency (other than veterinary clinics) authorized to impound stray dogs and cats in unincorporated Leavenworth County.
    The Sheriff's Department refusal to provide reliable reasonable comprehensive animal control services is a choice, resulting partly from the Board of County Commissioners refusal to recognize and respond to the unrelenting demand for these services by the citizens of Leavenworth County.
    The lack of animal control services in Leavenworth County is not because the Sheriff's Department can't. Training is easy to find. Equipment can be purchased. The lack of animal control services in our county exists because the Board of County Commissioners has not funded their own mandate, and perhaps because the current leadership in the Sheriff's Department doesn't want the responsibility for comprehensively protecting public health and safety by providing animal control services that the public demands.
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