Transition of Animal Control causes harm and undue stress
Since the Kent County Levy Court took over Dog Control, one dog has died from heat exhaustion and another came very close. The County Commissioners are attempting to state that a dog being left outside (chained or fenced) in the heat is a matter of animal cruelty, and therefore under the SPCA's jurisdiction for investigation when a member of the public calls.
Clearly, the Kent County Levy Court Commissioners do not know or understand the Delaware Code that pertains to dog control; or they would understand that an animal being left out in this heat with out a secondary form of shade is a Title 9 issue; therefore, it is a dog control issue, not a cruelty issue.
From the DE State Code, Title 9, Chapter 9, Subsection 904:
"(3) Shelter from sunlight. -- In addition to the shelter structure, 1 or more separate outside areas of shade shall be provided to allow the dogs to protect themselves when sunlight is likely to cause overheating or discomfort."
Due to the fact that there were no dog control procedures in place through the County following the July 1 handoff, the first dog passed away, suffering a horrible death due to the lack of response. This, unfortunately, DID make it a cruelty investigation.
Yesterday afternoon, a Kent County resident attempted to get Levy Court out to address some Title 9 issues. This dog was chained in a yard with two dogs running loose. After getting the run around, this dog became in distress and the KCSPCA responded and removed the dog for emergency treatment for illness related to heat exhaustion. This dog survived, thankfully, due to the emergency response of the Kent County SPCA Animal Control Officers. The emergency response they did not get from the team currently in charge of Animal Control in Kent County.
One commissioner, Mr. Jody Sweeney, has taken to Facebook to claim that the Kent County SPCA engaged in Cruelty to Animals. Here is the message he sent out:
"Yesterday, the Kent County SPCA failed to respond to a dog in trouble. A call came into the SPCA about a dog on a chain in the sweltering heat. The SPCA responded that they do not handle dog control in Kent County. This was clearly a case of abuse, but instead of investigating, they decided to use it as a selling point for their services."
Mr. Sweeney should consider reading the State Code in regards to animal laws before claiming that the Kent County SPCA didn't do its job. He should know the Code that he has chosen to be charged with enforcing, before pointing fingers at the Kent County SPCA and claiming 'cruelty'. It is the responsibility of the Kent County Levy Court Commissioners to provide Title 9 enforcement, and it is about time they start doing so. They are leaving the residents – two and four legged – unprotected, and at a horrible time of year.
This has gone too far. Our Animal Control Officers are beside themselves being forced to sit and watch while Animal Control is not being carried out. Please speak for those who cannot speak and call the Governor's office today. 302-744-4101. Our animals deserve the protection and care that they are used to, and they need you to speak up for them and demand their protection.