BEL AIRE, Kan. (KSNW) – Police in Bel Aire recovered numerous pets Monday morning from a woman’s home, now said to be uninhabitable.
Chief Darrell Atteberry told KSN that his officers responded to an animal welfare call at 11 this morning and had to contact Sedgwick County Animal Control when they arrived.
He said after a woman reported the concern, officers found “dozens and dozens” of dogs, cats, guinea pigs, chickens, doves, rats and more.
“We’re talking about… just a menagerie of animals,” Atteberry said.
He says some animals were found dead in the home, some were “seriously ill” and many others had at least some respiratory infections to deal with. Animal rescue Beauties and Beasts were on scene to assist as well.
Atteberry said the home is not habitable, so police have placarded the home to keep people out. The homeowner is leaving tonight, he said.
“It’s a public safety issue,” Atteberry said, “because having animals like that living in a confined space, roaming around outside of cages, you can imagine the health concern that would be.”
He said the home needs “a lot of attention” before anyone could live in it again.
Atteberry said the woman is in fine condition after an EMS evaluation. When asked about her mental health state, the chief said his officers are not psychologists, “but she seems to know right from wrong.”
He expressed concern for the woman, the animals and the “whole situation,” and urged others to contact authorities when they have concerns, saying that this could have been resolved long before any animals died had police been notified.
The state of Kansas does outlaw the following acts as animal cruelty:
Knowingly killing, injuring, maiming, torturing, burning or mutilating any animal. Also included as cruelty are abandoning any animal, failing to provide food, horse-tripping, and poisoning any domestic animal, unlawful disposition of animals, dog and cock-fighting. Cruelty to animals may be a misdemeanor or a felony. Exceptions are made for such things as veterinary practices, research experiments, rodeo and farming practices, euthanasia, and pest control. It is also illegal to allow a dangerous animal to run at large or to engage in sodomy with an animal.
The City of Bel Aire does have several animal related ordinances, including Section 7.3.4(C) and Section 7.4.1(A)(3) of the city code.
No person shall keep any rabbits, poultry or domestic fowl, within thirty-five (35) feet of any residence or dwelling, other than the residence of the person keeping or maintaining such rabbits, poultry or fowl. Dwelling shall not include any school, hospital or similar institution.
Having physical custody of any animal and 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 animal.