Iowa AG wants animal torture ruling overturned

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — 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.

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