In the past two to three years, there have been several incidents in Clinton and the Clinton area resulting in the neglect, abuse, abandonment and death of dogs.

They have been starved to death or almost to death, left in crates outside to die, shot and killed and shot and injured. There have been some serious bite cases in the area. This most recent case of the eight dogs living in filth and squalor in a home without utilities is beyond the pale. The dogs seemed to have been living in that filth for quite some time. The reports are that they were fighting amongst themselves perhaps to survive or just a reaction to the stress of these disgusting conditions. One dog was found dead and perhaps other dogs buried in the back yard. This is a complete nightmare for the dogs, and the rescuers that rescued them. Unfortunately according to people, these dogs were being bred, which is just unacceptable on any level.

The question begs why do these situations in Clinton have to get to this level before someone steps in. The citizens have been speaking out, meeting have been held. The request to reinstate an animal control position has been put to the city leaders. Any yet here you are again.

It seems there is a lack of understanding of what an animal control officer does in the position. First and foremost, an animal control officer intervenes before situations like this occur. Animal Control is the first line of defense for animal abuse. The education is through children and adults and animal owners.

They are the investigative body to look into and follow up on reports about animal situations. They can enforce the laws, issue warnings and citations and fines, and if need be, remove the animals before animals are left in a basement in horrid conditions to die. Animal Control enforces the laws in the city and state code. Clinton does have some pretty defined laws on animal abuse, abandoned animals, hoarding and breeding.

I would hope the citizens continue to meet with the city leaders and law enforcement in a positive, productive fashion to reinstate an animal control officer in the city of Clinton. It seems by now it is clear it is needed. It is clear that if it is not done, you will face this situation again in the near future.

Jean Regenwether,


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