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Letter to Editor: Animals need better legal safeguards

When will domestic animals get some of the legal safeguards that the environment and wildlife get in our great state of Minnesota?

If our laws are not clear enough to bring tough consequences to those who are running a "rescue" on County Road 91 near Lake George in Hubbard County, then the laws need to be changed.

After reading the facts of public record found by the humane investigator with regard to the lack of sufficient food and water and the actual physical conditions of the horses as attested to by a veterinarian, I find it hard to understand how the settlement of the complaint was downgraded to a public nuisance offense and not even the maximum fine for that offense imposed.

As I drive by on my way to Bemidji, I have seen the conditions described in the article over all the seasons and am very discouraged at the outcome of an over one year investigation/legal process that included the Minnesota Animal Humane Society.

The fact that on Oct. 28, 2014, Ms. Lizakowski was convicted of offenses "involving horses getting out and being neglected" in Marshall County and was ordered to own no horses in said county for two years should have all of us wondering why the same could not have been the outcome here.

I have spoken with Ms. Lizakowski as recently as last fall at the location where she keeps not only horses but llamas, goats, sheep and chickens to name what I have seen. At that time, she told me that they are not a rescue, "there is no money to be made as a rescue."

I am not a "bleeding heart." I have a pretty common-sense attitude on the care of animals placed in our charge, but I also know that even if you think the laws are vague, you surely understand that the lack of food and water and the physical condition of the animals is a strong indicator that tough measures need to be taken.

Contact your legislators about changing the laws and our law enforcement anytime you are concerned about the conditions you may see involving animals not being cared for.