Sheriff’s Office investigating discovery of burned dog remainsA dog whose charred remains were discovered Jan. 30 was probably not alive when it was set on fire, but the possibility could not be ruled out, according to Detective Jason Falk, Stutsman County Sheriff’s Office. “If the animal was alive, then obviously we’d be looking at some animal cruelty (charges),” Falk said.
By: By Kari Lucin and Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
A dog whose charred remains were discovered Jan. 30 was probably not alive when it was set on fire, but the possibility could not be ruled out, according to Detective Jason Falk, Stutsman County Sheriff’s Office.
“If the animal was alive, then obviously we’d be looking at some animal cruelty (charges),” Falk said.
If the dog was deceased, the person who burned it may face littering charges instead, and criminal mischief charges are also a possibility.
The remains of the tan-colored dog were found in the 8800 block of 30th Street Southeast, near the 5-mile corner. The animal resembled a pit bull, but it was very large for a pit bull and may have been a mixed-breed dog, Falk said.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, pit bulls often attract people only interested in dogs for fighting or protection. As such, they face more challenges in getting adopted than some other dog breeds — and they are considered to be at risk for longer shelter stays and eventual euthanasia.
“It appeared as though he was placed in a kennel with two small tires and some lumber and placed on fire,” Falk said.
By the time deputies arrived, all that remained was the kennel door, melted plastic and the dog’s remains.
Most of the animal-related cases Falk sees are incidents of neglect, in which people do not properly feed or shelter their animals — “not so much somebody doing something purposefully to harm them.”
Prairie Paws Rescue often gets calls about animal cruelty as well, many of them about neglect, but when animals are penned up with food, water and shelter “there’s not a darn thing you can do about it,” said Kaye John, Prairie Paws co-founder.
She said the incident involving the burned dog reminded her about animal cruelty legislation North Dakota lawmakers are considering that would stiffen the penalties for animal cruelty.
“Something needs to be done other than a slap on the wrist,” John said. “Because there have been people who have locked their dogs in a garage for a month without food and water, and the dogs are emaciated — and they get 20 hours of community service.”
Senate Bill 2211 in the North Dakota Legislature lays out definitions and penalties for animal abuse, neglect and abandonment.
As Class A misdemeanors for the first offense, they would be punishable with up to one year in jail and a $2,000 fine. A second or subsequent offense within five years would become a Class C felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
The full Senate is expected to review the bill today.
According to the ASPCA, when reporting a case of animal cruelty to law enforcement, it’s best to provide them with a concise, written factual statement of what was observed, with times and dates when possible. And a person should not enter someone else’s property without permission.
Anyone with information about the dog discovered Jan. 30 is asked to call the Stutsman County Sheriff’s Office at 252-9000.
Sun reporter Kari Lucin can be reached at 701-952-8453 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at email@example.com