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The Kennett Humane Department reports Saturday that animals are being shot in the vicinity of of local dunk hunting spot near Kennett, Mo.

Duck hunters that frequent the area deny they or any of their fellow hunters would be involved in such activities, but neighbors in the area disagreed.

Folks commenting on the incident seem unclear on the laws surround the shooting of animals whether they are stray or owned by someone.

According to Missouri Revised Statues, Chapter 273, 273.033:

1. In any action for damages or a criminal prosecution against any person for killing or injuring a dog, a showing by a preponderance of the evidence that such person was in reasonable apprehension of imminent harmful contact by the dog or was acting to prevent such imminent harmful contact against another person by the dog shall constitute an absolute defense to criminal prosecution or civil liability for the killing or injuring of such animal.

2. If a person has, on at least two occasions, complained to the county sheriff or to the appropriate animal control authority in his or her jurisdiction that a dog, not on a leash, has trespassed on property that such person owns, rents, or leases or on any property that constitutes such person’s residence, and when at least one of the prior two complaints was motivated by reasonable apprehension for such person’s safety or the safety of another person or apprehension of substantial damage to livestock or property, then any subsequent trespass by such dog shall constitute prima facie evidence that such person was in reasonable apprehension of imminent harmful contact. The county sheriff or animal control authority to which any complaint under this section is made shall notify the owner of the alleged trespassing dog of such complaint. Failure by a county sheriff or animal control authority to notify a dog owner under this subsection shall not invalidate or be construed in any way to limit any other provision of this subsection.

3. The court shall award attorney’s fees, court costs, and all reasonable expenses incurred by the defendant in defense of any criminal prosecution or in any civil action brought by a plaintiff if the court finds that the defendant has an absolute defense as provided in subsection 1 of this section.

4. This section shall not be construed to provide an absolute defense to a person who is engaged in or attempting to engage in a criminal activity at the time of the apprehension of imminent harmful contact, or to a person for any damage or injury to any person or property other than the dog itself that may result from actions taken in an attempt to injure or kill such dog.

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Only under the previously name circumstances is the shooting of an animal allowed by law. Under any other circumstance it’s considered a crime.

If you witness someone shooting animals for any reason, you should report the incident immediately to local law enforcement; crimes do not report themselves.

Kennett Humane Society is is asking for assistance to help provide vet care for this dog and others in their care. If you would like to donate, you may do so directly by reaching out to Kennett Veterinary Clinic. You will find a Pay Pal button on their website to make donations online.

Kennett Humane Department is located in Kennett, Mo.

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