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At its Nov. 12 meeting, the Derby City Council discussed a proposed ordinance that would update the city’s municipal code on animal cruelty.

The proposed updates were drafted based on input provided by members of the Derby Police Department, including animal control officers. City staff also researched animal cruelty ordinances in other cities like Wichita, Manhattan, Newton and Olathe.

A majority of the proposed updates focus on adding and defining terms to the offense portion of the city’s code, including adequate care, adequate food, adequate health care, adequate shelter, and adequate water.

Another proposed update would make it an offense for anyone to carry “an animal in or upon a vehicle in a cruel and inhumane manner.” The last major update clearly establishes that any law enforcement officer may take an animal into custody that “clearly shows evidence of cruelty to animals.”

The updates are intended to help officers in certain situations, including:

  • An animal is kept outside where the only shelter is under a deck area that floods
  • An owner fails to provide veterinary care for an injured animal
  • An owner has failed to provide grooming or other necessary care for an animal’s breed

The proposed ordinance was brought to council members as a discussion item. The council will take action on the item at its Nov. 26 meeting.

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