Petition gets more than 3,000 signatures to increase Kansas City's animal abuse penalties

KC's penalties some of the lease severe in US

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Kansas City residents have gathered more than 3,100 signatures urging city council to consider stricter animal abuse penalties.

The Kansas City council is proposing major changes to the city's animal abuse and neglect ordinances.

A petition, started by Unleashed Animal Shelter, is serving as a catalyst for change.

The death of an abused boxer-mix dog named Colonel launched the petition, after neighbors called animal control on several occasions for help.

By the time Colonel was found, he was too malnourished to be saved.

Two councilmen have joined the push for change.

Councilmen Jermaine Reed and Scott Taylor have sponsored an ordinance to update the city charter and double the fine for animal abuse to a maximum $1,000.

Kansas City's animal abuse penalties are among some of the least severe in the country.

Councilman Reed also noticed many of the abuse hotlines laid out in the city's ordinance are outdated and disconnected.

Anne Medley, a volunteer at Unleashed who started the petition, says making punishment harsher for animal abusers is essential.

"It's just like child abuse," she said. "These animals have no voice, no ability to protect or care for themselves. I think this will send a message to anyone who abuses animals that this kind of mistreatment won't be tolerated."

The measure passed unanimously through the public safety committee on June 26.

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