OPINION

Iowa ranks next to last in preventing animal abuse and neglect

Staff Writer
Nevada Journal

To the editor:

According to research presented by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, Iowa continues to rank 49th out of 50 states regarding quality of laws aimed at preventing animal neglect and abuse, or punishing those who commit violent acts against animals. The Des Moines Register published an article on this embarrassing statistic this past week and I applaud them for continuing to report on this issue. Iowa’s weak and poorly written laws continue to frustrate the animal sheltering and rescue communities, as well as citizen advocates, by not giving law enforcement the tools necessary to seize and protect mistreated animals or prosecute those causing them harm. Iowa needs to become a leader in animal protections. Ironically, our neighbor to the east, Illinois, holds the #1 ranking for giving significant attention to animal welfare laws and regulations. In 2016, I ask that our state legislators support long-overdue changes to Iowa code that will improve the quality of life for untold numbers of animals, who continue to suffer needlessly.

Lisa Kuehl

Madrid