In the state of Kansas, it is illegal to knowingly kill an animal. There are various exceptions provided under the law for such things as veterinary procedures and food animal slaughter. There is also an exception for “humane societies”:
the humane killing of an animal which is diseased or disabled beyond recovery for any useful purpose, or the humane killing of animals for population control, by the owner thereof or the agent of such owner residing outside of a city or the owner thereof within a city if no animal shelter, pound or licensed veterinarian is within the city, or by a licensed veterinarian at the request of the owner thereof, or by any officer or agent of an incorporated humane society, the operator of an animal shelter or pound, a local or state health officer or a licensed veterinarian three business days following the receipt of any such animal at such society, shelter or pound;
I’m looking at that last part: a so-called humane society may kill an animal without violating Kansas state law if they receive an animal and hold that animal for 3 business days. I’m not a lawyer but that’s how I read it.
In the case of Lucy, the Kansas Humane Society received Lucy and killed her immediately upon receipt. The Kansas Humane Society did not wait 3 business days before killing Lucy. They did not wait any days – or even hours – before killing Lucy. Lucy was killed immediately upon receipt – not because she was medically hopeless and suffering but because the surrendering party had reported that Lucy exhibited typical inappropriate chewing behavior for a dog of her breed and age who is left alone all day.
Although the Kansas Humane Society claims it did nothing wrong and that the owner signed all the forms allowing them to kill Lucy immediately and without cause, I question whether a pound can use a surrender form as a means for violating state law. Again, I’m not a lawyer but it seems to me that if the laws of the state of Kansas could be violated as long as someone signs a piece of paper saying so, there would be no real value to the law.
In my opinion, the killing of Lucy must be condemned in the strongest terms. Obviously the ASPCA is not going to do it so, as usual, it is up to the unwashed masses to take up the cause. I further feel the state attorney general should open an investigation into Lucy’s killing to determine if the Kansas Humane Society violated state law.
Please contact Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt and politely request that he open an investigation into the killing of Lucy and other pets by the Kansas Humane Society. Contact info and sample letter below:
Attorney General Derek Schmidt
120 SW 10th Ave., 2nd Floor
Topeka, KS 66612
Fax: (785) 296-6296
Dear Attorney General Derek Schmidt,
On Tuesday, December 27, 2011, the Kansas Humane Society reportedly accepted a friendly, healthy, 1 year old Labrador Retriever named Lucy from a surrendering owner. The owner apparently reported that the dog was left alone all day while the owner worked and during the day, the dog would chew on furniture and other inappropriate items. This is typical behavior for a dog of Lucy’s age and breed who is left alone all day.
The Kansas Humane Society did not hold Lucy for the minimum 3 days as required by state law but instead killed her immediately upon receipt, while the owner was still in the parking lot. The Kansas Humane Society did not deny this fact when asked by the Wichita Eagle, nor did the representative indicate this was an isolated incident, an error, or a practice the organization vowed to eliminate in future. In fact, the representative “said she couldn’t say how often an animal is put down in the relatively short time frame that [Lucy] was”. A logical interpretation would be that the immediate killing of surrendered pets is a common practice at the Kansas Humane Society.
I am requesting you open an investigation into Lucy’s killing and the practices of the Kansas Humane Society to determine if Lucy and/or other pets have been killed there in violation of Kansas state law.
Added: My friend John Sibley created a petition asking the KS AG to investigate pet killings at the Kansas Humane Society. Please sign and share with your pet loving friends.