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Greetings from the Kansas Supreme Court and the Kansas Bar Association. Welcome to this edition of Law Wise and the third edition of the 2006-2007 school year. The theme of November's edition of Law Wise is "Animal Rights."
Calendar of Events
There is a proven connection between animal abuse and human violence. Dennis Rader, the serial killer who called himself BTK, was known to abuse dogs and other animals. Rader killed 10 people in and around Wichita and is currently serving 10 consecutive life sentences with no chance of parole for more than 40 years. As a child, Albert DeSalvo, the Boston Strangler, trapped dogs and cats in orange crates and shot arrows through the boxes. When Jeffrey Dahmer was a child he impaled frogs, decapitated dogs, and staked cats to trees in his backyard. Dahmer became a notorious serial killer and was sentenced to death for killing, dismembering, and, in some cases, cannibalizing 17 men and boys. The list goes on. Animal cruelty is recognized as a sign of serious psychological distress. It often indicates that a person has either experienced violence firsthand or has a greater-than-average likelihood of becoming violent toward people. Experts have documented this link in the lives of serial killers and also acknowledge that in homes where animal abuse occurs, child abuse or other domestic violence is also more likely to occur.
In light of the strong evidence linking animal cruelty and human violence, The Humane Society of the United States and the FBI with many other groups, continue to urge law enforcement officers, humane investigators, and social service agencies to work together to address cruelty, abuse, and neglect. In Kansas, cruelty to animals is defined by the Kansas Statutes Annotated 21-4310 as:
If you have a cruelty complaint, please contact your local animal control office, city law enforcement officials, county sheriff, or county attorney.
New Animal Laws in KansasBy Alisa M. Arst, editor
Animals bring joy to most everyone. They depend on us to care for them and keep them safe. New laws are emerging around the country aimed at protecting animals from mistreatment. Thankfully, Kansas has one such new law. Magnums law arose after Magnum, an 11-week-old black Labrador retriever mix, was found in August 2005 in a recycling bin with cuts, chemical burns, a broken leg, and wires wrapped around his neck and front legs. He died several days later from these injuries. About 200 people attended a memorial service for Magnum.
For years, Kansas citizens advocated for an animal cruelty law in Kansas. The new law was finally enacted after citizens petitioned the state legislature to make animal cruelty a felony. The petitions spurred legislators to take action on what had been nicknamed Scruffys law, after a terrier that was beaten and burned to death in Kansas City, Kan., in 1997. The bill passed in February and Magnums Law took effect on July 1, 2006.
Under the new law, anyone found guilty of intentionally and maliciously killing, injuring, maiming, torturing, burning, or mutilating any animal will face penalties of at least 30 days in jail and $500 to $5,000 fines along with psychological evaluations and anger management toward animals.
There are 41 other states in which aggravated animal cruelty is a felony. Unfortunately, even extreme animal cruelty still can only be prosecuted as a misdemeanor in Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Hawaii, Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Utah. The organization that spearheaded the campaign to change the law is called Magnum Force of Kansas. Authorities are still seeking Magnums abusers. The MAGNUM reward fund is at $18,348 through the Kansas Humane Society. If you have any information, please contact animal control at (316) 268-8378.
Another Kansas law that went into effect July 1, 2006, requires owners of exotic animals to keep their animals confined so they do not come into contact with people. It also makes it illegal to allow such animals to roam at large. Another law that went into effect Oct. 1, 2006, makes it illegal to own a dangerous animal without a USDA license and $250,000 liability insurance. Remember, wild animals are unpredictable regardless of how cool or cute they look. They should be allowed to live in environments that allow them to flourish.
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On Oct. 6, 2006, President George W. Bush signed the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards (PETS) Act to help ensure that Americas pets and service animals arent left behind in the next disaster. Bush said during Hurricane Katrina that if he had to evacuate, the one thing he would take would be his dog, Barney.
The bill which was introduced in the House by Rep. Tom Lantos, D-Calif., and Rep. Chris Shays, R-Conn., co-chairs of the Congressional Friends of Animals Caucus, and in the Senate by Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, and Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J. requires the inclusion of companion animals in disaster planning at the state and local levels. It was approved by unanimous voice vote in the U.S. Senate on Aug. 4 and the U.S. House of Representatives on Sept. 20.
Were tremendously grateful to the House and Senate leaders who reacted swiftly by introducing the legislation, and shepherded it through the committee process and floor votes to todays signing by the president, said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. While Katrina wreaked so much devastation and disruption, it also highlighted the remarkable bond between this nation and our pets and service animals, and the need for public policy to echo that appreciation of animals.
The final bill that the president signed contains provisions to help with disaster planning, including:
People victimized by disasters should not suffer needless additional injury by having to abandon their household pets or service animals to their fate, said Lantos. With the cooperation of state and local authorities under the mandates of this new law, nobody will ever again have to confront the choice between personal safety and that of their animal companions.
During Hurricane Katrina, tens of thousands of animals became homeless or perished. Many pet owners stayed with their pets and perished, added Shays. Today, we ensured that wont happen again. Communities across the nation are now required to include pet owners and their pets in emergency evacuation plans. I am grateful for the advocacy of The Humane Society of the United States and the bipartisan, bicameral support of this measure.
HSUS disaster experts note that evacuations will run more smoothly if pets are included in pre-disaster planning. People lost their lives in the wake of Katrina because government responders told them their animals had to be left behind and they couldnt bear to abandon their pets, said Pacelle. For many people who face losing everything, their pet is the only comfort they have left.
There are more than 358 million pets in the United States residing in 63 percent of American households. A recent Zogby International poll found that 61 percent of pet owners say they would refuse to evacuate if they could not take their pets with them.
We learned many important lessons from hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma. One of these lessons was that we must put procedures in place to evacuate not only residents in areas impacted by a natural disaster, but also pets and service animals, said Stevens. This legislation is an important step forward in our efforts to mitigate personal suffering during times of disaster.
People see pets as part of their family and they do not want to leave any family members behind, added Lautenberg. As we learned during Hurricane Katrina, when people need to choose between safety and their pets, some of them will choose their pets. Now, they dont need to make that choice.
In addition to Lantos, Shays, Stevens, and Lautenberg, who sponsored the legislation and shepherded it through to passage, The HSUS would also like to thank key committee members for their support, including Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., chair and ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, and Rep. James Oberstar, D-Minn., chair and ranking member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Also of special importance were the efforts of Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., who included parallel language on disaster planning and response for people with pets and service animals in the fiscal year 2007 Homeland Security Appropriations bill, which provides the funding for the FEMA.
The American Bar Association has a free newsletter that contains information on law-related education. Law Matters, which reports on developments, ideas, programs, and resources in the field of public education about the law, is published three times per year (winter, summer, and fall). For information on ordering, contact the ABA at (312) 988-5735 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Teacher's Box: Use this worksheet in conjunction with the questions to encourage students to view situations from different perspectives.
Summertime is the right time for me. I love inviting friends and family to pool parties at my place. I fire up the ol grill and get cooking!
This morning, I was getting ready for my first bash of the summer. When I went to start the grill, I noticed something odd in the charcoal. Sunflower seeds! I knew they must have come from my backyard bird feeder. But how? In a few seconds I got my answer. A tiny gray mouse leaped from the grill and ran for cover.
Using a stick, I moved some charcoal to the side. Thats when I discovered a nest of baby mice underneath the grate! What am I supposed to do? I dont want to hurt the mice. But I cant have them living in my grill!
When youre a mom, youll do anything to keep your little ones safe. So I was pretty excited to find this cozy home to raise my babies in. It has a solid roof that keeps out the rain. The hard sides block the wind from blowing my nest around. Its dark, too, so nobody can see us here.
Even better, theres a sunflower seed station close by! The birds are always dropping seeds on the ground. I scurry right over and pick them up. I bring the seeds back to the nest to munch on later. They give me energy while I nurse my babies.
Just a few minutes ago, a human lifted up my roof. He scared me so much that I ran away. Now Im watching him from a distance. What is going to happen to my babies?
Here are a dozen adjectives (describing words) from the story above: right, ready, first, odd, tiny, safe, cozy, solid, hard, dark, few, better. Below, write your own story about an animal in trouble. Use as many adjectives from the list as possible. Give your tale a happy ending.
Questions About A Tale of Two Critters
Teacher's Box: Distribute these questions after students have read A Tale of Two Critters.
Grade Level(s): 3 - 5
Subject: Science, Environmental Education, Language Arts, Social Studies, Reading/Writing
Duration: 2 hours
Overview: Humans, animals, and plants share the earth and depend on each other for survival. Extinctions have always naturally occurred, but due to humans, more wildlife and plants are endangered now more than ever before.
Objective(s): Students will (1) know new terminology, including endangered species, extinct, threatened, ecosystem, diversity, and species in need of conservation; (2) learn why animals become endangered and extinct; (3) will learn how they can contribute to helping threatened and endangered (T&E) species; and (4) learn about Kansas endangered or threatened animals.
Activities/Procedures: We discuss what it means for an animal or plant to be considered threatened or endangered. We talk about how Kansas animals can also be placed on the SINC list, or species in need of conservation. We also discuss what the term extinct means. We discuss some causes for animals becoming threatened, endangered or even extinct.
Most of the program is taken up by students researching on the Internet. With a partner, they can choose an animal on the Kansas T&E list. We use the Web site eNature (http://www.enature.com/home/). After they collect all of the required information, they print off a picture of their animal and make a poster. If time permits, each group gives a two-minute presentation on their animal to the rest of the group.
Assessment: Students will understand the terms endangered, threatened, SINC, and extinct. They will understand how animals can become threatened and endangered, or even extinct. They will understand how even a small change on their part can make a huge impact on animal and plant habitat.
They will participate in a research project to learn about a local animal that is either threatened or endangered.
Useful Internet Resources:
On the Brink of Extinction
The planet Earth is covered in many different types of organisms. An organism is defined as any living thing. A species is considered alive if it can move, use nutrients, respire, grow, reproduce, and respond to stimuli. This may seem very complicated but if you look at each piece individually you will realize it is not very complicated at all. Letfs take humans as an example. Humans are always moving, even when we sleep we are moving around. A human takes in nutrients every time we eat a meal. We use those nutrients to stay alive. We respire every time we breathe out. Humans grow from a child into an adult. A human reproduces by having children. Humans are always responding to stimuli, when it gets cold we put on a sweater!
Now that you understand all the components of the definition living, are mushrooms living organisms? What about bacteria? Is a virus a living organism?
There are many different kinds of living organisms (animals, plants, insects, reptiles, amphibians, birds, etc.) on our planet. There are so many different kinds of organisms in the world that scientists have not even identified all of them. There are some organisms on the planet that may have never been seen by a human. Such organisms may be smaller than we can see or in the deepest parts of the ocean.
Another important term for you to understand is the term species. A species is a set of organisms that are members of a group that have similar characteristics. Let's consider birds for example. All birds have feathers and are warm-blooded. An American Goldfinch is a bird that has black wings, a black "mask" on its face, and a yellow back and chest. A Goldfinch is different from an American Robin. An American Robin has a reddish chest, a gray chest, and a distinct white eye ring. Both the American Goldfinch and the American Robin are birds, but they are different species.
Scientists use the term biodiversity to describe the overall diversity of our native ecosystems and species. If you look closely at the word "biodiversity" you can see that two words make up this term, "biological" and "diversity." Biological means anything that has life. Diversity means the number of different types of species. So, an example of biodiversity is the number of different types of insects on a tree, the number of different types of trees in a forest, the number of types of forests in the world or the number of worlds in the universe. Biodiversity is very important to the health of our environment. To protect biodiveristy, humans must be careful that our actions on the planet do not cause other organisms to go extinct.
Since the beginning of time, organisms have been going extinct. An organism is considered extinct if there are no living representatives of the organism any more. For instance, we all know that Tyrannosaurus Rex went extinct through no fault of humans (there were no humans on the planet yet!). Scientists do not even know why T-rex really went extinct. Background extinction occurs continually throughout time and is caused by small changes in climate or habitat, depleted resources, competition, disease and other changes that require adaptation and flexibility. If an organism, say a certain species of fish, can only live in water that is 72 F, then it would not survive a winter were the water temperature dropped to 70º F. Organisms with very specific living requirements tend to go extinct more easily than organisms that can survive in a variable climate.
Human action on the planet has caused an increase in the rate of extinctionfs. Humans are a unique species. We alter our environment to survive. We build houses, construct shopping malls, plow fields for agriculture, and dam streams to build lakes. All of these actions, and many more, alter the environments of other organisms. These alterations may effect a species ability to survive and may cause a species to go extinct. Extinction's that occur due to human activity are a true tragedy.
Scientists are very concerned about losing species from the planet earth. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was established to protect species from extinction. Many people are taking actions to try and identify species that may be in danger of extinction as a result of our behavior, and to take measures to protect these species. We have developed a system of identifying species that are in trouble by categorizing them. The government passed a law called the Endangered Species Act that defines each category at the federal level. The federal government lists species as either threatened or endangered.
In the state of Kansas there are three categories that an organism can fall under: endangered, threatened or a species in need of conservation (SINC).
Endangered species are those species that are in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range. This is the most critical category and means that more individuals of the species die in a year than are born, and, therefore, the numbers of individuals are diminishing. The reason for higher death rates than birth rates are variable, very often high death rates are due to a loss of habitat as people encroach on the species' land. Habitat is the natural surroundings in which an animal or plant usually lives. If we build a mall where native grassland once was this can cause a loss of habitat.
A threatened species is in less danger than an endangered species. A threatened species is a species that is likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future. Threatened species have a reduced population size, but may not have a higher death rate compared to the birth rate. Threatened species are monitored very closely by federal state wildlife biologists.
In the state of Kansas, a species can be classified as a SINC. SINC are not federally listed but may be in danger of becoming listed federally if people who live in Kansas don't take measures to protect them.
When a species is listed as endangered or threatened it is not a death sentence. Many animals like the Bald Eagle and the American Alligator were on the brink of extinction and are now recovering. Many species, however, will not recover, and could be lost forever. Many species of plants and animals may go extinct without us ever knowing about them or their value.
Last updated Jan. 26, 2006. © 2001 Kansas City, Kan., Public Library. Web site: http://www.kckpl.lib.ks.us/schlagle/lessons/extinct.htm
There are currently nine states with laws that allow students to object to dissection and use an alternative. These states are California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Virginia. Additionally, there are two states with resolutions and educational policies: Maine, and Louisiana. Maryland has a mandate that students and teachers are provided information on alternatives to dissection.
State Library Online Catalog. This online catalog allows you to click on any of its headings and browse through lists of material available at the Kansas State Library and other research libraries in Topeka.
Other Resources and Online Documents:
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Exotic Animals as Pets
The Humane Society of the United States
The Whims and Dangers of the Exotic Pets Market
Whats the matter with Kansas?
United State Department of Agriculture
Kansas Animal Health Department
Let us know what you think!
If you have any ideas or suggestions for Law Wise topics or lesson plans,
please e-mail Meg Wickham at email@example.com.
KS - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Laws
KS ST § 21-4310-4311
This Kansas statute states that cruelty to animals occurs when a person intentionally kills, injures, maims, tortures, mutilates any animal, or if that person abandons, or, having physical custody of the animal, fails 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 animal. Intentional horse tripping also constitutes cruelty. Exclusions include scientific research, veterinary practices, hunting, rodeos, euthanasia, or animal husbandry, among other things. Cruelty to animals is a class A nonperson misdemeanor. Dogfighting is also prohibited under this section as a nonperson felony.
KS - Dogs -
Consolidated Dog Laws
KS ST § 47-229-835 (also accompanying admin. regs.)
These Kansas statutes comprise the states dog laws. Among the provisions include licensing of dogs, specific laws that outline the care of dogs in kennel situations, and laws pertaining to dogs who endanger livestock. The accompanying administrative regulations are also included.
KS - Endangered Species -
Kan. Stat. Ann. §§ 32-957-962 (1993)
These Kansas statutes set forth the states endangered and threatened species provisions. Included are the related definitions and the rules for listing species. A permit is required for any form of possession or taking of a listed species.
KS - Equine Activity
KS ST § 60-4001-4004
This Kansas statute provides that any participant in domestic animal activities assumes the inherent risks of when such participant engages in a domestic animal activity. This limitation of liability operates legally as an affirmative defense of assumption of risk pleaded by the domestic animal activity sponsor or domestic animal professional. The statute also requires the visible displaying of warning signs that alert participants to the limitation of liability by law and any written contract must provide explicit language outlined in the statute.
KS - Humane Slaughter -
Humane Slaughter Act
KS ST § 47-1401-1405
This Kansas section comprises the states humane slaughter act. The act first begins with a statement of policy requiring the humane slaughter of all livestock. A humane method is defined as a method whereby the animal is rendered insensible to pain by mechanical, electrical, chemical, or other means that is rapid and effective, before being shackled, hoisted, thrown, cast, or cut. The law also allows slaughter by a method in accordance with ritual requirements of the Jewish faith or any other religious faith whereby the animal suffers loss of consciousness by anemia of the brain. Any person who violates any provision of this act is guilty of a misdemeanor.
KS - Impound -
Abandonment of animals;
notice to owner; relief from liability for disposal;
KS ST § 47-835
This Kansas statute provides that any animal placed in the custody of a licensed veterinarian that is unclaimed by its owner for a period of more than 10 days after written notice by registered or certified mail is given, shall be deemed to be abandoned and may be turned over to the nearest humane society, or dog pound or disposed of as the custodian may deem proper. The giving of notice to the owner of record immunizes the veterinarian from liability.
KS - Ordinances -
Sec. 4-1 - 4-194
These ordinances comprise the cities of Concordia and Manhattan, Kansas animal control provisions.
KS - Possession -
Commercialization of Wildlife
KS ST § 32-1005
Knowingly capturing, killing, or possessing for profit, or selling, bartering, purchasing, or offering to do so as well as the shipping or transportation of wildlife constitutes the commercialization of wildlife. The possession of listed wildlife for commercial purposes is considered a nonperson misdemeanor or felony depending on whether the aggregate value is greater than $500. Commerce in protected wildlife (including eagles) incurs at least the minimum fine and may also result in the confiscation of equipment, license sanctions, and restitution.
KS - Trusts - Trust
for care of animal
KS ST § 58a-408 (2003)
This Kansas statute provides that a trust may be created to provide for the care of an animal alive during the settlors lifetime (note that it does not state domestic or pet animal). The trust terminates upon the death of the animal or, if the trust was created to provide for the care of more than one animal alive during the settlors lifetime, upon the death of the last surviving animal. Property of a trust authorized by this section may be applied only to its intended use, except to the extent the court determines that the value of the trust property exceeds the amount required for the intended use.
KS - Veterinary - Article 8 - Registration of
KS ST § 47-814-854
These are the states veterinary practice laws. Among the provisions include licensing requirements, laws concerning the state veterinary board, veterinary records laws, and the laws governing disciplinary actions for impaired or incompetent practitioners.