Petition launched to bring justice for allegedly abused dog

JOPLIN, Mo. – A dog is taken to the Joplin Humane Society after it was allegedly abandoned and abused. One local woman is fighting for justice for the dog, however, that justice is limited.

This Shepherd-mix was brought to the Joplin Humane Society by animal control after allegedly being discovered abandoned in a Joplin home. According to the humane society, they say he had apparently been abandoned for weeks and was starved and in desperate need for medical attention. That’s when humane society volunteer Kelly Johnson jumped into action, launching an online petition to get justice for this dog. “Whatever charge that can be charged it needs to be brought against him, people in this community care about this, that’s what I want the prosecutor to understand, people care about animal abuse, they just feel like there’s nothing they can do.”

Johnson says he’s doing well, despite what he went through. “From what I’ve been told his spirits are really good, he loves people, when he came in he only weighed around 20 pounds and he’s already gained 15 in just a week.”

We spoke to Jasper County Prosecuting Attorney Theresa Kenney about legal options should charges be filed. “Animal abuse is if you intentionally cause injury or suffering to an animal, or you knowingly, you have ownership or custody of the animal and you knowingly fail to provide adequate care which results in substantial harm to the animal and that is a Class A misdemeanor for a first offense, and the punishment on a Class A misdemeanor is up to one year in the county jail or a fine up to $2,000.”

She says she feels the frustration of Johnson and other animal lovers. “People love their dogs, I have two dogs myself so you know it’s, I understand people’s outrage when animals are neglected, but we can only do what the law permits and right now under these statutes most of these offenses are misdemeanor offenses.”

At this time, officials have not identified the owner or whether or not charges will be filed.