Saturday, April 28, 2012
Minor offenses, like having too many pets, have gotten some people in trouble with the law. On Saturday, the violators had to attend a court-ordered class on animal accountability.
"People need to understand that not everyone who comes to these kinds of classes, that have been court-ordered, not all of us have been cruel to our dogs," said Alejandro Arango, from Wichita.
Arango was ordered to attend the "Animal Accountability Course" after violating a city ordinance by having three dogs.
"You actually have to have a permit. It all started because they all got out. So, I just woke up one morning and the City was at my door," said Arango.
The City of Wichita requires a pet owner to pay $25 for an "Animal Maintenance Permit" to keep more than two dogs.
"Kind of opened my eyes a bit because not that many people who own pets actually are aware of the laws and policies of the city, so some people might break the law without knowing it," said Arango.
The day-long course taught participants the basics of animal care and current animal ordinances. The Animal Justice Coalition organizers hope that minor offenses will not elevate into higher levels of cruelty and neglect.
"With the economy, and also sometimes it's an educational issue, we've seen some pretty significant cruelty and neglect cases. So, we'd like to do whatever we can to be proactive about that and try to prevent those issues from happening again," Deputy Christy Fischer, Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office.
If you would like more information about the Animal Justice Coalition, click here.