Utah town files criminal charges against people who didn’t get a dog license after pet died

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Several people in Mantua, Utah, found themselves in hot water for not obtaining a dog license. As reported by KUTV News, the town prosecutor slapped 16 residents with criminal charges, even though several of those people did not obtain a dog license because their pet had died.

One resident, Brandon Marsh, tells the news agency:

I was charged for not registering a dog that was deceased,” Marsh told KUTV. “Chief Hamer issued a summons stating evidence was collected but was unable to turn over any evidence to the prosecutor causing the charges to be dismissed

(screenshot via KUTV News)

Thanks to a judge, the charges against Marsh, and five other people, were dropped. Other people claimed that they did not get their dogs licensed because of “confusion,” and they worry that they now have a ding against them because a criminal record was recorded. The town council has since admitted that there should not have been misdemeanor charges for residents who did not get dog licenses, and the ordinance has been revised.

KUTV received a statement from Mantua Mayor Paul Nye:

Earlier this year the persons in town with dogs who had failed to get them licensed, as prescribed in the ordinance, were sent letters reminding them that they needed to get their dogs licensed,” according to Nye’s statement. “The vast majority of citizens responded and licensed their dogs. The few people who didn’t respond were issued citations, as prescribed by the ordinance. It is my understanding that all of the people cited have now resolved their case and there are no people in town who are facing Class C misdemeanor charges for unlicensed pets at this time.”

The residents who were convicted of the misdemeanor charge before the ordinance was revised are trying to “figure out” how to get the criminal charge off of their record.

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