HARRISONVILLE, Mo. — Animal advocates pushed Cass County Commissioners for change Thursday afternoon.
Cass County began to clean up an unincorporated Pleasant Hill property spilling out into the road last week, but authorities said their hands are tied when it comes to dealing with what the advocates say are possibly endangered animals.
“I know neglect when I see it,” Danna Armstrong told Cass County Commissioners.
The retired veterinary technician was one of several people who addressed commissioners about a property along Katy Trail at Rock Island Spur filled with trash and dozens of dogs.
“They were standing in their feces, infested with fleas and several of them were very very underweight,” Armstrong said of her 2021 visit to the property.
She wasn’t able to get authorities to seize the animals last year; advocates also failed in their efforts this year.
In part because Cass County doesn’t have an animal control department or seem to have as many ordinances dealing with animal wellbeing as other local municipalities.
The advocates aren’t just worried about the dogs chained to cars at the property with no water or electricity, but also people using the trail next to it where there have been 11 dog bites in the past five years.
“I’ve been chased by the dogs, I’ve witnessed the dogs chasing horse back riders and bicyclists,” Lee Armstrong told commissioners.
“If the dogs ever get off their leash they are going to kill, these are not safe dogs,” his wife Danna said.
They are asking commissioners for pet registration programs to fund an animal control program and for an ordinance that would only allow dogs to be tethered when supervised, not around the clock.
“It needs to be passed everywhere. There’s no difference between a dog suffering on a tether in the city or the countryside,” K-9 Unchain USA Founder Jennifer Kanaday said.
Cass County’s Presiding Commissioner said last week’s efforts to clean up the piles of junk the man had in the public access road won’t be their last involvement at the property.
“Mr Konkel has been out there for a very very long time. This probably should have been addressed 10 years ago before any of us were around. But we’re going to get it addressed because it’s time,” Presiding Commissioner Bob Huston said.
Animal advocates also asked the county how much it cost for the estimated 30 or so workers involved in that cleanup last week, and who will ultimately pay for it.
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