MASON CITY – The Humane Society of North Iowa will hold an informational meeting on the subject of “Improving Iowa’s Animal Cruelty Laws” on Tuesday, August 4th, at 6:00 pm, at the their shelter located at 2700 South Birch Drive in Mason City. The meeting is being hosted by representatives of the Animal Rescue League, Iowa’s largest animal welfare organization, based in Des Moines.
The purpose of the meeting is to explain and address Iowa’s current animal cruelty laws, how they’ve applied to recent cases, their shortfalls, and what citizens can do to strengthen and improve them. According to the Animal Legal Defense Fund, Iowa ranks 49th in the nation in animal protection law rankings.
The Humane Society of North Iowa reports that there have been five criminal charges of animal torture/cruelty in the last two and a half years in Cerro Gordo County. These cases range from an individual throwing a cat in the river inside a duffel bag to another individual suffocating his dog with a plastic bag as a means of euthanasia. A pending case is that of a dog whose owner bludgeoned it with a hammer as a means of euthanasia; this particular case is awaiting trial. Aside from the pending case, the individuals involved in these incidents either pled to a lesser charge or received a penalty of a small fine and/or probation.
“Each time an animal torture or cruelty crime is committed in our area people are justifiably outraged,” stated Sybil Soukup, Executive Director of the Humane Society of North Iowa. “Citizens in our community want to see the punishment fit the crime when it comes to these cases. However, Iowa’s animal welfare laws are lax and woefully inadequate; the courts can only prosecute within the guidelines of the law,” concluded Soukup.
Those interested in seeing Iowa’s animal cruelty laws strengthened are encouraged to attend this educational meeting.