Deaths of loose pets, strays prompt Fairbanks animal cruelty fines

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - People who are caught killing loose pets and other strays without cause in Fairbanks now face new fines, only passed after several recent animal deaths in the area.

The Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly voted 7-1 this past week to fine people $500 for a first animal cruelty violation. The charge would be $1,000 for a second offense.

In addition, anyone who kills a pet could also be fined $100 if they take longer than a day to notify the owner or animal control.

It was a borough code rewrite that removed a previous law against killing animals outside of hunting, trapping, self-defense or humane deaths. At this point, however, killing animals in self-defense remains exempted.

Assemblyman Lance Roberts, who voted against the fines, said the feel-good ordinance was unenforceable.

Assemblyman John Davies, however, contested that standard was taken off the books, and the new ordinance provides a tool to address unjustified animal killings.