141 W Elm
Wichita, KS 67203
Animal abuse and neglect is a commonplace occurrence in the
state of Kansas. Often, the only way for animal abuse and neglect to be
identified and combated is for concerned citizens to contact their local law
enforcement agency or animal control department. These crimes often take place
behind closed doors and/or in fenced yards which makes it difficult for law
enforcement officers to detect these criminal activities. The Kansas animal
cruelty statute states the following:
21-4310. Cruelty to animals. (a) Cruelty to animals is:
Intentionally and maliciously killing,
injuring, maiming, torturing, burning or mutilating any animal;
intentionally abandoning or leaving any animal
in any place without making provisions for its proper care;
having physical custody of any animal and
intentionally failing to provide such food, potable water,
protection from the elements, opportunity for exercise and other
care as is needed for the health or well-being of such kind of
intentionally using a wire, pole, stick, rope
or any other object to cause an equine to lose its balance or
fall, for the purpose of sport or entertainment; or
intentionally causing any physical injury
other than the acts described in subsection (a)(1).
While most of this statute is relatively easy to understand,
people often have a difficult time understanding that if a person abandons an
animal in any fashion, that this act constitutes animal cruelty. This includes
leaving animals behind when the owner moves or dropping off animals in the
country. If you have an animal that you no longer want, you should take the
animal to the Kansas Humane Society located at K-96 and Hillside in Wichita.
They request a donation of $5 to $10 but will not turn an animal away if you are
unable to pay. If you have questions, they may be contacted at (316) 524-9196 or
please see their website at www.kshumane.org
. Most violations of this statute are misdemeanors or arrestable offenses in the
state of Kansas. A violation of the first subsection of this statute is a felony
offense. There are also county resolutions that have to do with animal cruelty
and neglect issues. County resolutions in this area closely mirror state statute
and also include such things as rabies vaccinations, etc. A violation of a
county resolution is punishable by a fine.
The statute does state that all animals are required to have
food, potable water (potable is sometimes defined as water that you, as a
person, would be willing to drink), some type of shelter that allows the animal
to escape the elements, the opportunity for exercise and proper veterinary care.
You are required to obtain rabies vaccinations for each of your dogs and cats
over five months of age and must provide this documentation to Animal Control
and/or law enforcement officials if asked. Failure to do so might result in you
receiving a county citation.
At this point in time, Sedgwick County does not have a leash
law and also does not have the tethering law that the City of Wichita has. You
are required, however, to keep your animals on your own property or in your
direct control at all times. It is important to note, however, that extensive
research has been done on the chaining of dogs for extended periods of time.
Research has showed that tethering dogs for long periods of time often leads to
increased aggressiveness. More information can be found at
One exception to this statute that deputies and animal control
officers are often asked about is whether farmers can shoot dogs who are trying
to hurt their livestock. It is not animal cruelty if an animal is killed
humanely while actively attempting to injure or kill livestock (if you want more
information you can look up statute 21- 4310 on
www.kslegislature.org). It is also
not animal cruelty when an animal is killed while it is acting aggressively
Did you know that Sedgwick County has an euthanasia rate that
is three times higher than the national average?1
One thing you can do to help change this is spay and neuter your animals. There
are a variety of programs that offer low cost spaying and neutering in the
Sedgwick County area, including the Kansas Humane Society and Spay-Neuter
Kansas, Inc. Spaying and neutering prevents a number of health problems in your
animals, including uterine and testicular cancer. It may also prevent wandering
and makes them less likely to bite. Contrary to popular belief, it does NOT
inhibit your dog’s natural instinct to protect your family and/or property.1
The Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office works closely with
Sedgwick County Animal Control to try to enforce all animal-related statutes and
county resolutions. Both departments encourage you to report suspected animal
cruelty and abuse if you encounter a situation that you feel should be further
investigated. The number for Sedgwick County Animal Control is (316) 660-7070.
If you encounter an animal abuse or neglect situation that you feel is an
emergency, please call 911 for sheriff’s deputies.
We, at the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s
Office, are dedicated to helping citizens combat crime in their
neighborhoods. But we need your help! By utilizing
crime prevention techniques around your home, work place, and
vehicles, you can decrease your chances of becoming a victim!
If you have any questions about what you could do to help
protect yourself and your property, please call either your
Community Liaison Unit at (316) 660-3920 or your Community
Policing Unit at (316) 660-0750.
information provided in this document is not intended to be
legal advice, but is merely intended to convey general
information commonly encountered when dealing with the Subjects
discussed herein. Because laws can change very rapidly, we
cannot guarantee that any
Information on this document (or references contained therein) is current
or accurate. Additionally, laws differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and
are subject to interpretation of courts located in each county. Legal advice
must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case and the information
provided herein may not be an appropriate fit for your particular situation. The
Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office, its employees, agents, or others will not be
liable or responsible for any claim, loss, injury, liability, or damages related
to use of this document or any reference provided herein.
Society Of the United States
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
American Humane Association
County Animal Control
Spay Neuter Kansas
Kansas. Spay Neuter Kansas, Inc. Web. 25 Nov. 2009. <http://www.spayneuterkansas.com>.
-Animal Cruelty." Pet-Abuse.Com - Home. Web. 19 Jan. 2010. <http://www.pet-abuse.com/pages/animal_cruelty.php>.
3 “Did You
Get Your Veterinary Degree From a Cracker Jack Box?” Web. 19 Jan. 2010.
Written by: Deputy C. Fischer
Reviewed by: J. Page D1642
The Mission of
Sedgwick County is to provide quality public services to our community
so everyone can pursue freedom and prosperity in a safe, secure, and
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