Humane Society to hold discussion on animal cruelty Thursday |

Humane Society to hold discussion on animal cruelty Thursday

— Members of the Routt County Humane Society hope to send a clear message to local officials that animal cruelty should not be tolerated and that those convicted should be punished.

The local nonprofit organization invites community members concerned about the issue to an Animal Cruelty in our Community meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Centennial Hall, 124 10th St.

"If they can voice what they would like to see happen with abuse situations, that would really help our elected officials in how they handle the situation," Humane Society Co-President Diana Childs said.

The discussion will be moderated, but people are encouraged to speak their minds, Childs said. A petition will be circulated calling for stricter penalties for those who commit animal cruelty.

Steamboat Springs City Council members are being invited to the meeting. Fourteenth Judicial District Chief Deputy District Attorney Rusty Prindle is expected to attend, as are Steamboat Springs Police Chief JD Hays and Detective Dave Kleiber.

"I'll talk about what resources are available from the city," Hays said.

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Childs said the meeting is meant to draw attention to animal cruelty in general and will not focus on the man who is suspected of shooting a dog March 12 in the Indian Trails subdivision. The shooting has drawn anger, and animal cruelty is on a lot of people's minds, Childs said.

"We are definitely a dog-friendly town, and this is not acceptable," Childs said.

Del Herman, 70, was arrested March 22 on suspicion of shooting a Labrador retriever that was wandering on his property. After Herman was arrested, police say he confessed to the crime, saying he was frustrated with loose dogs on his property. Herman posted bail and is next due in court at 2 p.m. April 6. The District Attorney's Office filed charges Thursday. The charges are aggravated cruelty to animals, a Class 6 felony; and misdemeanor disorderly conduct related to discharging a firearm in public.

Prindle said he would not be able to speak about the specifics of Herman's case at the meeting because the case is ongoing. He will be able to talk about how the District Attorney's Office handles animal cruelty cases and the penalties associated with certain kinds of cases.

"I can talk about the law that is applied to animal cruelty cases," Prindle said.

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