Crews discover illegal dumping, coyote carcasses disposed of near waterways

Published: Apr. 6, 2023 at 5:13 PM CDT
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LEAVENWORTH COUNTY, Kan. (KCTV) - Public works crews completing maintenance in Leavenworth County discovered illegal dumping and the improper disposal of coyote carcasses near local waterways.

County officials want to remind residents that illegal dumping and the improper disposal of dead animals can cause contamination downstream.

Historically Oak Mills Drive has been a common location for illegal dumping in Leavenworth County. Officials have tried to put a stop to it, but the issue is ongoing. This week, embankments along the secluded stretch of road were littered with trash and multiple coyote carcasses.

At another location off Leavenworth Road near Stranger Creek, someone disposed of six coyote carcasses side by side. It appeared the coyotes may have been shot before they were dumped near or in the water. Large tires, appliances and furniture were also dumped in the same location.

“It is just sad to see animals disposed of that way. We have laws in our state and even in our nation of how to properly dispose of animals,” Leavenworth County Attorney Todd Thompson said. “One of the things that we worry about is the contamination of waterways.”

The coyote population is estimated to have increased three-fold in the U.S. since the late 1980′s. According to the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, depending on the time of year, between 150,000 and 300,000 coyotes live in Kansas alone. Hunting or trapping coyotes with the proper license is legal year-round in Kansas with no limit.

“They are a predator animal. There could be safety concerns, and we understand that but still you have a duty to be able to dispose of whatever you are hunting properly,” Thompson said.

It is illegal in Kansas to dispose of dead animals on public property including public creeks and waterways. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has guidelines on how to properly dispose of dead animals. Criminal littering, which is defined as the reckless depositing of any object or substance on any public street, body of water or public place, is an unclassified misdemeanor punishable by a fine.

County officials are asking community members to be good neighbors. They ask anyone with information about illegal dumping to report it. “If we know about it, and we can prove it, we are going to prosecute it,” Thompson said.

Leavenworth County residents are encouraged to utilize the Leavenworth County Transfer Station at 24967 136th Street, Lansing, KS. The Leavenworth County Transfer Station offers one free disposal load to every county resident each calendar year.