Conviction For Letting Vicious Dogs Run Loose Upheld.

The defendant was convicted under K.S.A. Sec. 21-6418(a) for allowing a dangerous animal (her dogs) to run at large when she knew they had dangerous or vicious propensities.  The defendant lives next to a sheep farm with many lambs.  The dogs had a history of predation upon the sheep and one dog had been shot while harassing the sheep on one occasion.  The farmer had often complained to the defendant about the dogs, but to no avail.  Ultimately, the county sheriff warned the defendant that the dogs could be considered dangerous and vicious and that the defendant needed to restrain the dogs.  The dogs again mauled some sheep, and the defendant was cited for the offense.  The rial court found that the defendant had violated the dangerous animal statute, imposed a sentence of 6-months in jail, one year of unsupervised probation and $192.85 in restitution.  On appeal, the court affirmed.  The appellate court determined that the trial court properly applied the plain language of the statute to the facts and that there was no need to resort to canons of statutory construction because the statute was not vague.  The appellate court also held that the evidence was sufficient to put the defendant on notice that the dogs had dangerous or vicious propensities.  The defendant had been warned numerous times about the dogs harming the sheep and lambs, the existing holes in the fence near the defendant's house and the unlikelihood of harm caused by coyotes.  State of Kansas v. Shell, No. 111,779, 2015 Kan. App. Unpub. LEXIS 153 (Kan. Ct. App. Mar. 6, 2015).     

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