Sheriff’s Department Weighs in on Enforcement of Cold Weather Animal Cruelty

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Continuing with our coverage of keeping furry friends of all kinds safe in these sub-zero temperatures, WBON-TV brought in Deputy Michael Stotts of the Madison County Sheriff’s office who explained the law enforcement angle on this sometimes sticky situation.

Stotts says that they investigate all complaints, whether it be a call for a simple welfare check of an animal or obvious neglect.
He elaborates on the KRS statute that says a person can be charged with a misdemeanor if they are proven to have subjected the animal or pet to ‘cruel neglect’. With the wind chill tonight stretching below zero degrees, it seems this would not be a difficult burden of proof.

Stotts reminds viewers that the County Attorney has the final say when it comes to these cases if the criminal charges need be filed. He does, however, strongly recommend documenting any suspected cruelty with pictures or video, along with the time and temperature that the animal was observed. With this documentation, the sheriff’s deputies can follow up and provide the most thorough investigation.

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