Pottawatomie County Commission addresses adopting abused animals

By The Mercury

A policy outlining procedures for adopting abused animals was presented to the Pottawatomie County Commission Monday.

The proposal, drafted by Attorney Rebecca Rookstool, was presented by Sheriff Greg Riat to bring closure to a recent case of horse cruelty in the county.

The sheriff’s department recently took two horses into custody because of alleged abuse by their owner, Riat said. The animals were placed under someone else’s care and have been improving.

When asked to evaluate on a scale of 1 to 10 the horses’ condition when they were first taken from the owner, Rookstool replied, “Zero.” She ranked their current condition “about a six.”

“They’re definitely making good progress,” Rookstool told commissioners. “They’ve been receiving very good care, from what I can see.”

“We need procedures to adopt the horses out and bring this to a conclusion,” Riat said. In addition to criminal charges against the owner, Riat said he has asked the county attorney to seek financial restitution to pay for the horses’ recent care.

Commissioners said they would have the proposal reviewed by the county counselor for action at their next meeting.

In other business Monday, the commission:

• Decided to proceed as planned with the Crown C improvement project east of Manhattan on U.S. Highway 24.

Owners of the Manhattan Commission Co. recently approached commissioners with concerns about the project and asked it to be modified.

Leu Lowrey, public works director, said redesigning the project would delay it and add as much as 50 percent to the design cost. Further, the project is not expected to adversely impact property values in the area, he said.

The project will improve access to businesses near the Manhattan Commission Co., by extending a frontage road east from the traffic light at the Heritage Square intersection.

• Approved the final plat of the McDonald Subdivision north of Elm Slough Rd. and west of K-99 Highway.

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