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Tag: kansas

Kansas law student seeks justice for dogs

In a typical animal cruelty case — on those rare occasions they do get to court — you’ll see an attorney representing the people, and another representing a defendant.

But you don’t see one representing the dog.

Katie Barnett, for one, doesn’t think that’s right.

A third-year law student at Kansas University, she’s establishing an animal cruelty prosecution clinic at the school — one she says is the first of its kind.

Barnett, 30, will work with animal control, animal cruelty investigators at the Humane Society, police and prosecutors to ensure that justice is served in cases of animal abuse.

“This is the chance for me to give the animals a voice and a place in the justice system,” Barnett told the Lawrence Journal-World.

Barnett started researching how to put together the clinic two years ago, after some high-profile animal cruelty cases in Lawrence. She did ride-alongs with the police and animal cruelty investigators and followed cases through the court system.

This spring, Barnett will develop a protocol for how future students can assist in the prosecution of such cases.

“I’m doing a trial run to see how everything works,” she said. “I’m getting out all the kinks and really tailoring the position so everyone knows what to do. There’s never been a person to collect everything.”

The program will begin taking in students in the fall 2011.

Barnett was one of three law students awarded The Animal Legal Defense Fund’s (ALDF) Advancement of Animal Law Scholarships last year for their outstanding work in the growing field of animal law.

A graduate of Missouri State University, she has two pit bull mix dogs, including a three-legged rescue named Leonidas. Both are both Delta Society therapy dogs who visit schools, hospitals, and participate in community outreach programs.

Barnett and her husband, Anthony, also run Game Dog Guardian, a local organization that rehabilitates pit bulls and helps find them adoptive homes.

The Crate Escape: 10 more years for inmate

manardyoungJohn Manard, who escaped from a Kansas prison by hiding inside a dog crate, was sentenced yesterday to another 10 years in federal prison on weapons charges, according to the Kansas City Star.

Manard was sprung from the Lansing Correctional Facility in 2006 by a prison volunteer, who used her dog van to drive him to freedom. Manard was hidden inside a cardboard box placed inside a dog crate.

The volunteer, Toby Young, was the founder of Safe Harbor, a program that rescued dogs from animal shelters and worked with inmates to train the pets and make them suitable for adoption. Married and a mother of two, she became romantically involved with the prisoner while working inside the Lansing Correctional Facility. You can read more about that saga — a Lifetime movie waiting to happen — here.

After leaving the Lansing prison, the two went to Young’s house where they took her husband’s two pistols.

Young, was sentenced to 27 months in prison for giving a firearm to a felon. Manard’s new conviction on charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm comes on top of his escape conviction and a previous murder conviction, for which he was serving a life sentence.

DNA testing saves dog from execution

petdnaIt took a DNA test to prove it, but Angie Cartwright — who lives in a town that bans pit bulls — has certified that her dog Lucey is only 12 percent bully breeds, and now she has her back.

Lucey had never bitten anyone; nor had she ever acted aggressively, according to the Salina Journal in Kansas. But she was scooped up by animal control officers.

The officers explained that they were taking Lucey to a veterinarian for a breed check — a professional opinion (meaning veterinarian’s guess) to determine Lucey’s breed.

Since 2005, Salina has had a ban on owning unregistered pit bulls and mixed breeds that are predominantly pit bull.

Cartwright got approval to have her vet conduct DNA breed analysis test, ther results of which led to the return of her dog.

The blood test found that a minor amount of Lucey’s DNA came from Staffordshire bull terrier genes — just over 12 percent.

“Maybe this can save someone’s animal, hopefully,” Cartwright said. Read more »

Kansas mayor to be tried in dog shooting

Mayor Don Call pleaded innocent to two felony counts of animal cruelty in the February shooting of a McCune resident’s two dogs.

Call was bound over for trial after a preliminary hearing Monday in Crawford County District Court, according to the Joplin Globe.

Crawford County Attorney Michael Gayoso said he filed the felony charges because he believes the dogs were killed maliciously. Call, who says he killed the dogs after receiving a report that they were chasing a neighbor’s children, is also charged with the illegal discharge of a firearm, a misdemeanor.

Call didn’t seek re-election as mayor of McCune in April, but won it anyway, when the 98 write-in votes he received were enough to beat the only candidate on the ballot.

According to Crawford County Sheriff’s Department reports, witnesses said Call fired three times from his vehicle, driving around the block between each shot. The owners of the dogs says they were chained at the time. Evidence submitted during the hearing included the rifle allegedly used by Call.

The misdemeanor count carries a penalty of 30 days of jail time and a fine of $500. The felony counts carry a penalty of up to a year in jail, and a fine of up to $5,000.

The trial is scheduled for December.

Dog-shooting mayor gets standing ovation

Mayor Don Call received a standing ovation Monday at the McCune City Council meeting for shooting and killing two dogs who had been the subject of citizen complaints.

More than 70 people showed up for the meeting, many of them to show support for the Kansas mayor, KMBC-TV reported. Call admitted to shooting the dogs after a neighbor complained they were chasing children.

“We all should be proud we have a mayor like Don Call that will take care of us and protect our kids,” Shirley Showalter told the council.

Call has been charged with two felony counts of animal cruelty and one misdemeanor count of criminal discharge of a weapon.

Duane Wahl, who owned the two dogs, did not attend the meeting, but he told The Joplin Globe that residents were wrong to support the mayor: “The fact is, whether they like the idea that he shot my dogs or not, he still shot my dogs on my property. They were on chains in my yard when he shot them. It was still wrong. It don’t matter if my dogs got loose in the past.”

According to police and the mayor, Call shot the dogs with a 9 mm rifle as they lay on the sidewalk outside Wahl’s house.

Crawford County Sheriff Sandy Horton has said that since July 2008, his office has received four complaints about Wahl’s dogs running loose and acting aggressively but that none of the complaints came from a victim.

Dogs shot by mayor were chained, owner says

Mayor Don Call turned himself in Wednesday and was charged with two felony counts of cruelty to animals and one misdemeanor count of criminal discharge of a firearm.

But he said he had no regrets about killing two dogs, who, according to their owner, were chained at the time.

Call, the mayor of McCune, Kan., said he warned the dogs’ owner on Jan. 12 that if the dogs were found running loose in town again, he would shoot them.

After receiving a complaint about the dogs Sunday, he drove to the home of their owner and shot them.

“They was lying on the sidewalk on the front of the house,” Fox News quoted him as saying. “I shot them with a 9mm rifle … five or six times.”

The dog’s owner, Duane Wahl, said his dogs never bothered anyone and that they were chained when the mayor drove up and shot them from his car window. “They weren’t vicious dogs. They don’t bite people.”

We’ve gotten a couple of comments from McCune residents. You can find them at the bottom of our original entry on Mayor Call.

Mayor solves dog complaints, with his gun

The mayor of a small southeast Kansas town took the law into his hands over the weekend, responding to a call of two loose dogs and shooting them both from his car.

Don Call, the mayor of McCune, Kansas — population around 400 — says he was protecting his city, which had been dealing for the past six months with complaints about the dogs acting aggressively and intimidating residents.

The mayor says he had warned the owner to get rid of the dogs or else he would do it himself, according to TV station WIBW

After receiving a complaint Sunday that two troublesome dogs had jumped through a screen to chase some children, the mayor loaded up his rifle and drove to the property. Once he spotted the dogs, he fired several times from his car, killing them both. He then loaded him into his vehicle and took them to his property, reports say.

The Crawford County Sheriff says an affidavit of arrest was sent to the county attorney office who will decide whether to issue a warrant for the arrest of the mayor.

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