Concerns Voiced Over Growing Number of Local Animal Abuse Cases


Paralyzed cat discovered in Emery County, Photo Courtesy of Emery Cat Rescue

Recently, there has been a noticeable uptick in reports of animal abuse within Carbon and Emery counties. The latest report comes from those that run Emery Cat Rescue after two cats that the rescue paid to help after they had been left for dead.

One cat was shot with a .22 and was in shock when he was discovered. Surgery on him was successful and the bullets were removed, though the cat unfortunately lost an eye. Another cat was paralyzed when she was found, completely unable to move her back legs at all or control her bladder. The cat is to believed to either have been stomped on, kicked, or both, to the point that her spine was broken.

The cat that had been shot is expected to make a full recovery and soon be up for adoption through Emery Cat Rescue. Sadly, the paralyzed cat had no way to be helped other than to be humanely put down. The rescue said that there is no current investigation on either instance by authorities, though Emery Cat Rescue is asking that anyone that has information come forward.

In speaking with Megan Kemple, a volunteer at the rescue, she stated that it seems like animals being both abandoned and abused has been happening a lot more lately. Kemple explained that there are quite a few people that Emery Cat Rescue is working with and helping that have had multiple cats dropped in their yards many times.

“Far too often when cats are given away in this area, we find out they’re being used for training dogs for hunting and that’s so wrong,” Kemple stated.

Over the past six months, an ongoing concern has been raised in multiple instances. One such concern was regarding what appeared to be a malnourished dog at the Carbon County Animal Shelter, in which a full response was given by the shelter and Carbon County Sheriff Jeff Wood.

A handful of months later, a dog was found abandoned up Consumers Road by a local family. At first appearance, it seemed as if the dog had ben attacked in some way, though later inspection discovered that the dog had been shot between the eyes with a .22 and had more than one bullet lodged inside its body.

Another instance that arose regarded the former mayor of Orangeville City, who was summoned by the Seventh Judicial Court to appear in regard to a charge of aggravated cruelty to an animal. This summons followed the reported discovery that the mayor had allegedly shot and killed a resident’s animal with a .22 when it was captured by the city.

According to Utah Code Section 76-9-301, subsection 4, a person if guilty of aggravated cruelty to an animal if the person tortures an animal, administer, or causes to be administered, poison or a poisonous substance to an animal, or kills an animal or causes an animal to be killed without having a legal privilege to do so.

Committing aggravated cruelty to an animal is a class A misdemeanor if committed intentionally or knowingly, a class B misdemeanor if committed recklessly or a class C misdemeanor is committed with criminal negligence. Furthermore, under Utah state law, a person is guilty of a third degree felony if the person intentionally or knowingly tortures a companion animal.

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