Social media re-ignites animal cruelty allegations | Community

An animal cruelty issue that surfaced in Waconia this spring has received renewed attention on social media.

Animal protection group In Defense of Animals posted an item on its website recently about reports of cruelty toward squirrels, and the Carver County Sheriff’s office has received a number of comments on its social media platforms like Facebook.

Earlier this year, a resident went to the city council with concerns about squirrels being left in traps unchecked or shot with a pellet gun, and the city in its June newsletter issued a reminder about firearm restrictions and checking traps for nuisance animals.

City Administrator Shane Fineran called the latest attention “old news,” possibly a social media campaign that went viral.

Sheriff Jason Kamerud indicates that the reports referred to recently on social media either have not been reported to law enforcement or date back to complaints related to incidents allegedly occurring in March and April.

Deputies investigating the matter reviewed the statutes and consulted with the Animal Humane Society and personnel from Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, he said. One person was cited for discharging a BB/pellet gun in the city limits; however, the charges were subsequently dismissed.

The sheriff’s department asks anyone with information about squirrel or animal abuse incidents to contact the dispatch center directly at 952-361-1231 rather than through social media channels.

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