Puppy killing case could change law

Published On: Jul 29 2013 05:56:37 AM HST

Iowa prosecutors are appealing a court's ruling that a man who beat a puppy to death with a baseball bat didn't commit animal torture.

Attorney General Tom Miller asked the Iowa Supreme Court on Thursday to reinstate Zachary Meerdink's conviction and clarify Iowa's animal torture law.

Miller's brief says the Court of Appeals erred last month in a 2-1 ruling that concluded Meerdink didn't act with "depraved intent" when he killed the 7-month-old Boston terrier outside a Davenport apartment and suggested the killing was justified.

Miller says the court's definition of depraved intent has created uncertainty for law enforcement and should be changed.

The St. Francis Foundation for Pets in Des Moines had delivered a letter asking the AG's office to appeal, saying the public was outraged by the decision.

Tom Colvin, the executive director of the Animal Rescue League of Iowa, is happy the Attorney General's Office has stepped in and asked for further review on an animal cruelty case.

"So many people have so many questions and, you know, are frankly outraged," said Colvin. "The animals are suffering. They feel pain, and from that stand point we have to be able to protect them."

Colvin said charges are needed.

"I think these situations are showing that once again we need to have a torture law that has a first offense felony classification," said Colvin.


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