UPDATE (07/24/17, 5:00 p.m.): Press Release from Office of the Warren County Attorney, Douglas A. Eichholz, County Attorney (View PDF)
LINDSEY MORROW AGREES TO PLEAD GUILTY TO TWENTY-TWO COUNTS OF ANIMAL NEGLECT
Lindsey Morrow, who was charged on February 2, 2017 with multiple crimes involving theft, fraud, and animal neglect, pled guilty today to twenty-two counts of Animal Neglect.
On February 1 and February 2, 2017, The Warren County Sheriff’s Office and members of the Animal Rescue League discovered three (3) deceased dogs, and rescued an additional nineteen (19) living dogs from multiple properties in Indianola and rural Warren County.
Today, Morrow pled guilty to nineteen (19) counts of Animal Neglect and three (3) counts of Animal Neglect Resulting in Death, accepting responsibility for the condition of all twenty-two dogs discovered or rescued in February.
Morrow was sentenced to a total of four (4) years and two hundred five (205) days in jail; three hundred sixty-five (365) days for each of the three deceased dogs, and thirty (30) days for each of the nineteen living dogs, with all the days imposed running consecutive to one another. All but thirty (30) days of the sentence were suspended, and Morrow was placed on two years of probation with the Iowa Department of Correctional Services.
Morrow is prohibited from owning or possessing pets as a special condition of probation.
The Warren County Attorney’s Office would like to thank the Warren County Sheriff’s Office, the Indianola Police Department, the Animal Rescue League of Iowa, and all the citizens that offered information and support, for helping to achieve a successful outcome for this case.
“We are extremely pleased that the Warren County Attorney’s office and Warren County Sheriff’s Office handled this case with the level of seriousness that it deserved. Ensuring that Lindsey Morrow will not be able to own or possess animals during her probation will save future animals from suffering under her watch. While the Warren County Attorney’s office pursued the strongest charges allowed under Iowa law, there is still a lot of work to be done at the state capitol to ensure animal abusers face stiffer penalties for their crimes. We look forward to working with Iowa lawmakers next session to better protect animals and punish those who chose to abuse them.”
Executive Director, Animal Rescue League of Iowa
UPDATE (03/10/17, 1:07 p.m.): Karma, the sweet dog who was severely injured and near death at the time of her rescue 5 weeks ago, officially has a new home today – with Warren County Sheriff Brian Vos, who helped save her life! The family has renamed her “Lucky Penny” and said they are looking forward to introducing her to their two other dogs, spoiling her with toys and showing her all the love she has always deserved. This sweet girl has been through so much – but now she has a wonderful family and an amazing life ahead of her. We couldn’t be happier!
Read more of her and Sheriff Vos’ story at http://ow.ly/eC1J309N88I.
See the news coverage from KCCI:
UPDATE (03/10/17, 9:30 a.m.): Good news! Stryder had knee surgery yesterday for a luxating patella, and everything went well! Veterinarians also repaired a separate tendon injury that they discovered while they were working on his knee. His foster family picked him up this morning from IVRC - Iowa Veterinary Referral Center, and he is now looking at a long 2 months of recovery in his foster home. Keep the good thoughts coming for this sweet guy as he heals!
UPDATE (03/09/17, 11:00 a.m.): Tomorrow, there will be a very special adoption for one of the Sandyville dogs that we have renamed to “Karma”. The bloodhound who has been at IVRC for the past 5 weeks will be going home with one of her rescuers tomorrow: Warren County Sheriff Vos!
On February 2, Sheriff Vos, along with ARL rescuers, picked up Karma’s lifeless body off of the floor of the feces-covered trailer she was trapped in, along with several other dogs. She was in hypovolemic shock due to hypothermia and extensive injuries and was rushed to the nearest vet. She's been in intensive care ever since, and lost her ear due to the injuries.
Sheriff Vos hasn't been able to get Karma out of his mind since that day and once Karma was cleared for adoption last weekend, they met again. Tomorrow, they’re making it official and she’ll be going home with the Vos family.
The ARL received hundreds of inquiries from interested adopters from all over the country. Those involved with the rescue and rehabilitation of these 19 dogs were given first opportunity to adopt, and the Vos family will not only provide a great home for Karma, they already share a special bond.
UPDATE (03/08/17, 3:00 p.m.): Animal Rescue League of Iowa (ARL) officials have confirmed that Custom Solutions Investigation posted the $25,000 bond for Lindsey Morrow on Tuesday, March 7, releasing her from the Warren County jail. The pre-trial conference has been scheduled for Friday, April 17 and the trial is scheduled for Wednesday, May 3.
UPDATE (03/03/17, 12 p.m.): Interest in adopting the 19 dogs from the Sandyville rescue has been incredible! The first round of dogs went up for adoption on Monday and more followed throughout the week. By the end of today a total of 8 dogs will be in their new homes – and all of them have had multiple adoption applications. The remaining 11 dogs are still under medical or behavioral rehabilitation and will be placed for adoption once their treatment concludes.
UPDATE (03/01/17, 2:40 p.m.): Here’s your smile for the day! These Sandyville rescue dogs had a ton of fun in their doggie play group in our training center today. Alfredo, Mazy, Baloo and Tucker had a blast chasing each other around and getting love from our staff.
UPDATE (02/27/17, 10:30 a.m.): Warren County officials have signed over all 19 dogs to the Animal Rescue League of Iowa (ARL) “with the express condition that none of the dogs be returned to the originating shelter or owner.”
The ARL’s medical and behavior teams have evaluated all of the dogs to determine their individualized plans towards adoption. All of the dogs have been given brand new names to symbolize their brand new start.
“We have seen the dogs’ spirits improve in the past several weeks in our care. Animals are amazingly resilient, and we are excited for this next phase for each of them,” said Tom Colvin, Executive Director for the Animal Rescue League of Iowa. “Too many people have failed these dogs in the past, so we are committed to ensuring that this never happens again. They’ll each be given new names and a new life with new families.”
Four dogs will be available for adoption beginning at 1pm today. Interested adopters are encouraged to meet the dogs at ARL Main (5452 NE 22nd Street, Des Moines) during adoption hours (11am-8pm on weekdays and 11am-6pm on weekends). Applications will be accepted and reviewed, and qualified adopters will be contacted for next steps. Due to the high-profile nature of these adoptions and the ongoing criminal court case, additional safeguards will be in place to ensure these dogs find permanent homes and do not reenter the system that failed them. In compliance with the order from Warren county, dogs will not be given to any of the rescues or individuals who sent dogs to Lindsey Morrow, either directly or indirectly. Those involved with the rescue and rehabilitation of these dogs have been given first opportunity to adopt, as desired.
Four more dogs will be available for adoption after their spay/neuter surgery this week.
The remaining 11 dogs include:
- 1 dog facing possible eye removal due to an injury caused by severe matting
- 1 dog under evaluation for possible neurological issues
- 1 dog facing possible surgery for bilateral lateral patellar luxation (double knee surgery)
- 1 dog with a mass removal that needs to be sent for testing
- 1 dog under ongoing care at IVRC
- 2 dogs in need of dental work
- 2 dogs that are heartworm positive
- 2 dogs that are potentially heartworm positive
As per our usual procedure, all of the dogs will be spayed/neutered, microchipped, vaccinated, and treated for their existing medical conditions prior to adoption - a standard that should always be done prior to adoption (or transfer).
All of the dogs and their new names can be viewed here: www.facebook.com/arliowa
UPDATE (02/24/17, 5:20 p.m.): The judge has ruled the Sandyville dogs will not be returned to Lindsey Morrow. We decided to spoil them when we told them the good news!
UPDATE (02/24/17, 5:06 p.m.): The disposition hearing to determine the ownership of the 19 living dogs that were removed from multiple locations in Indianola on February 2 was decided today. Warren County petitioned the court to gain ownership of the dogs from Lindsey Morrow, who faces charges of animal neglect and animal torture for the 19 living and 3 deceased dogs that were allegedly under her care under the “Bully Breed Miracle Network” rescue group. The Animal Rescue League of Iowa (ARL) has been caring for and rehabilitating the dogs for the county during the court proceedings.
The outcome: The judge has issued a written ruling that the 19 dogs are now owned by Warren County, effective immediately.
We will be providing information on the next steps next week.
UPDATE (02/24/17, 11:45 p.m.): We are still waiting for the judge’s ruling from the disposition hearing on whether or not Lindsey Morrow with Bully Breed Miracle Network will get back any of the 19 dogs she’s accused of neglecting and torturing. The following two stories take you inside the courtroom where you can see some of the testimony from Morrow and her daughter firsthand.
“Morrow is seeking custody of two dogs in particular that her attorneys claim serve as therapy dogs for her autistic son.”
View video from WHO TV Channel 13 News >
View video from We Are Iowa Channel 5 News >
- MONETARY DONATIONS to assist with medical treatments and on-going care expenses. Every dog that was rescued will need medical treatment in order to properly recover from the trauma they experienced.
- TAKE ACTION by signing up for the ARL Humane Action Network, and by contacting your lawmakers to help strengthen the punishment for these terrible crimes.
UPDATE (02/23/17, 3:55 p.m.): Here is some additional information about the hearing and the ARL’s involvement.
About the hearing: The disposition hearing was created so animals in court cases do not have to hang in limbo for weeks/months/years for the criminal court system to rule. These hearings are separate from the criminal charges part of the process. This is specific to Iowa; each state handles these cases differently. (Learn more: http://tinyurl.com/hshz7s4)
The ARL’s involvement: Since the Animal Rescue League has assisted the Warren County Sheriff’s office with this case, our cruelty intervention coordinator and 2 of our staff veterinarians were at the hearing to testify. ARL officials also assisted with documenting both the 19 living and 3 deceased dogs for evidence to assist with the charges and eventual prosecution. During one ARL veterinarian's testimony, she had a bag sitting on the witness stand of the 4.5 lbs of matting that was removed from one of the dogs.
UPDATE (02/23/17, 2:40 p.m.): The disposition hearing has concluded and the judge says he will issue a written ruling on the outcome of the 19 dogs at a later date. The Animal Rescue League of Iowa (ARL) will continue to care for and rehabilitate these dogs for the county, during this process. We will announce the ruling as soon as it is received.
Read more about what happened at today's hearing from We Are Iowa Local 5 News reporter, Claire Brehmer's live Tweets: http://tinyurl.com/zqfjrmo
UPDATE (2/22/17, 7:30 p.m.): What a difference 3 weeks can make, but what a long journey still ahead for some of the Sandyville 19.
"Rescued Dogs Doing Better After Weeks of Food, Care, and Love"
See the story posted by WHO TV, Channel 13 News, Des Moines >
UPDATE (2/22/17, 6:30 p.m.): "ARL [veterinarians] laid out case-by-case details of the physical problems they found on each dog. That includes one dog that had more than four pounds of matted fur removed from it. Morrow's attorneys countered many of the claims made by veterinarians at the hearing. At one point an ARL employee reported on the amount of weight the dogs gained after being put on a healthy diet. Attorney William Kutmus countered, asking whether the dogs were being made to deliberately gain weight to make their situation seem more dire." (Watch the video in the link. We also brought the 4.5 lbs of matted fur into court - that's what was in the bag on the witness stand!)
View Article from WHO TV, Channel 13 News, Des Moines >
UPDATE (02/22/17, 5:10 p.m.): The disposition hearing to determine the ownership of the 19 living dogs that were removed from multiple locations in Indianola on February 2 began today and has been recessed until tomorrow (Thursday) morning at 9:30 a.m. Warren County petitioned the court to gain ownership of the dogs from Lindsey Morrow who faces charges of animal neglect and animal torture for the 19 living and 3 deceased dogs that were allegedly under her care under the “Bully Breed Miracle Network” rescue group. The Animal Rescue League of Iowa (ARL) has been caring for and rehabilitating the dogs for the county, during the court proceedings. We will announce the outcome of the hearing as soon as it has concluded.
UPDATE (02/21/17, 4:00 p.m.): The disposition hearing is still planned for tomorrow (Wednesday), February 22 at 1:30 p.m. at the Marion County Courthouse in Knoxville. We will announce the outcome of the hearing as soon as it has concluded.
Many have been asking about the status of the Bloodhound that was badly injured. She is still in recovery at IVRC where she is receiving round-the-clock care and pain management.
UPDATE (02/17/17, 5:36 p.m.): Great news! The severely injured pup being treated at IVRC - Iowa Veterinary Referral Center, wagged her tail for the first time today! She is still in critical care 2 weeks after her rescue, but there is some light in her eyes now and that gives us a lot of hope for her recovery. If you hadn’t heard, veterinarians were forced to amputate her entire left ear last week due to the extensive damage it sustained. However, her leg wounds have been doing better, and at this time they don’t believe she’ll need surgery for them. She is still receiving round-the-clock care at IVRC and is under pain management and resting comfortably. She’s going to have a long road to recovery, so if you would like to donate to help with medical care for her and the 18 other dogs from the rescue, please go to http://ow.ly/lJ2e308Rxg4.
UPDATE (02/15/17, 4:45 p.m.): The Des Moines Register: "Owner of dead, neglected dogs raised more than $1,000 for animal 'rescue,' court records show." View Article >
UPDATE (02/14/17, 4:36 p.m.): The disposition hearing in the Sandyville dog case has been rescheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 1:30 p.m. at the Marion County Courthouse in Knoxville. At the hearing, a Warren County judge will determine whether or not the 19 living dogs that were rescued in the Sandyville case will be given back to the suspect, Lindsey Morrow. The ARL is holding the dogs for Warren County officials until the disposition hearing has concluded. We will announce the decision as soon as we know it.
UPDATE (02/13/17, 4:21 p.m.) Lindsey Morrow is now listed as an inmate in Warren County jail: https://www.warrencountyia.org/sheriff/jaillog/index.php?id=F3B7732F-A112-453F-940B-58570DD5144B
See the story posted by WHO TV Channel 13 News.
UPDATE (02/10/17, 9:23 a.m.): The Sandyville case has generated a lot of questions about how to separate the good rescue groups from the bad. When choosing to support or send animals to a rescue or shelter group, the ARL recommends the following: - Check if the rescue is licensed with their state (the state of Iowa currently doesn’t have a license for “rescue” so many groups register as a “dealer”) - Check if the rescue is a 501(c)3 with the IRS (keep in mind this is just a designation for tax status, nothing more) - Check references – Veterinary references, references from a current volunteer or foster home (someone who has seen where the animals live), references from respected shelters/rescues in the area, etc. - Check online for Better Business Bureau complaints, Charity Navigator ratings, etc. - Most important, go visit and see things for yourself. That’s always the most reliable! The Animal Rescue League of Iowa is a licensed shelter with the Iowa Department of Agriculture (which means we are subject to random inspections, where dealers are not), a licensed 501(c)3 in good standing with the IRS (and annual independent financial audits), with thousands of references. We are also a Better Business Bureau Accredited Charity and a Charity Navigator 4-star charity (their highest honor). We are happy to give you a tour at any time. Learn more about awards/recognition we have received here: http://www.arl-iowa.org/about-us/recognition.aspx Learn more about our operation here: www.ARL-Iowa.org/Impact. Read about the Sandyville rescue here: http://ow.ly/sn9a308TtJn.
UPDATE (02/09/17, 6:30p.m.): It has been a week since we rescued 19 dogs and recovered 3 deceased dogs from properties in Sandyville and Indianola. Many of you have been asking about the sweet pup being treated at IVRC - Iowa Veterinary Referral Center for the severe injuries she sustained before her rescue. We have good news and not-so-good news. Sadly, veterinarians were forced to amputate her entire left ear due to the extensive damage it sustained. However, her leg wounds have been doing better, and at this time they don’t believe she’ll need surgery for them. This pup is still receiving round-the-clock care at IVRC and is under pain management and resting comfortably. She has been so strong through all of this, and we are grateful for your continued thoughts and support. If you would like to donate to help with the medical care for this pup and the 18 other dogs, please go to http://ow.ly/lJ2e308Rxg4.
UPDATE (02/07/17, 6:15pm): Thanks to the kind person who donated these big, soft beds for the Sandyville dogs today! As you can see from this sweet pup’s reaction, they’re loving them! We are SO grateful to everyone who has contributed items for the dogs’ care. Thanks to you, we currently have enough food, Kongs and other items for the dogs. Our biggest need right now is donations to help with their medical care, as some of these pups will have a very long road to recovery. If you would like to help with that, please make a donation here: http://tinyurl.com/z7ebccd.
UPDATE (02/07/17, 8:56 a.m.): The Sandyville dog rescue last week has brought-up a lot of questions about what licensing is required for animal welfare organizations and what those licenses mean. To help clear up confusion, the ARL has the following definitions on our website.
Licensed Animal Shelter*: According to IDALS: “Animal shelter” means a facility which is used to house or contain dogs or cats, or both, and which is owned, operated, or maintained by an incorporated humane society, animal welfare society, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, or other nonprofit organization devoted to the welfare, protection, and humane treatment of such animals.
Licensed Animal Rescue: There is no definition for animal rescue in the state of Iowa, so many rescue groups are licensed as an “Animal Dealer”.
Licensed Animal Dealer*: According to IDALS: “Dealer” means any person who is engaged in the business of buying for resale or selling or exchanging dogs or cats, or both, as a principal or agent, or who claims to be so engaged.
Licensed 501(c)(3) Non-Profit**: According to the IRS: To be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, an organization must be organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3), and none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual. In addition, it may not be an action organization, i.e., it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.
Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS):https://www.legis.iowa.gov/docs/code/162.pdf
Internal Revenue Service (IRS): https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/charitable-organizations/exemption-requirements-section-501-c-3-organizations
UPDATE (02/6/17, 4:40 p.m.): The disposition hearing has been moved to February 15.
UPDATE (02/06/17, 8:00a.m.): A disposition hearing has been scheduled for Monday, February 13. At the hearing, a Warren County judge will determine if the 19 living dogs that were rescued in the Sandyville case will be given back to the suspect, Lindsey Morrow, or not. The ARL is holding the dogs for Warren County officials until the outcome of the disposition hearing has been determined.
UPDATE (02/06/17, 10:00a.m.): Remember the sweet pup we told you about a few days ago (who was found inside a camper with other dogs and had sustained severe injuries)? On Friday afternoon we took her to our friends at IVRC - Iowa Veterinary Referral Center because we knew she needed to be monitored overnight. Later that night she was still declining so she received a plasma transfusion and remained in emergency care throughout the weekend. We are happy to report that she is now in stable condition, though not out of the woods yet. Today she will be seen by a surgeon at IVRC to determine the next steps for her wound care. She is receiving round-the-clock pain management and monitoring and even took her first bites of food since her rescue.
UPDATE (02/04/17, 2:21p.m.): This poor dog was matted so badly, it took several staff assisting our groomer for FOUR HOURS to remove 4.5 lbs of solid matting the night of the rescue. While this pup is feeling a LOT better, the severe matting pulling at the skin and preventing blood flow, may end up costing him his eye. This did not happen overnight. This poor dog has been suffering for a very long time.
Lindsey Morrow with Bully Breed Miracle Network and Rescue has been charged with 5 counts of animal torture (aggravated misdemeanors), 5 counts of animal neglect (serious misdemeanors), and 17 counts of animal neglect (simple misdemeanors) in addition to other charges unrelated to the care of the animals.
Sign-up to help strengthen the punishments for these crime: www.arl-iowa.org/takeaction
UPDATE (02/04/17m 9:34a.m.): The Warren County Attorney's office announced that Lindsey Morrow has officially been charged this morning in the Sandyville dog case, in addition to multiple other charges.
Most disturbingly, she is the director for a "no-kill" group called “Bully Breed Miracle Network and Rescue”, described online: “Bully Breed Miracle Networking And Rescue is a non-profit, no-kill, volunteer dog rescue organization serving the Indianola, Iowa area. We are dedicated to rescuing dogs left homeless for whatever reason – dogs in public shelters where they are at high risk of euthanasia due to pet overpopulation, dogs given up by their owners because of difficult circumstances, and those in danger of abuse or neglect.”
Charges filed include: Ongoing Criminal Conduct, a Class B Felony, Theft in the Second Degree, a Class D Felony, Fraudulent Practice in the Second Degree, a Class D Felony, five (5) counts of Animal Torture, Aggravated Misdemeanors, five (5) counts of Animal Neglect, a Serious Misdemeanor, and seventeen (17) counts of Animal Neglect, a Simple Misdemeanor.We are so glad these dogs have now REALLY been saved...from her.
UPDATE (02/3/17, 7:36p.m.): The staff at the ARL see abused, neglected, and unwanted animals on a daily basis, and yet, it never gets easier. The team has worked tirelessly since we got the call on Wednesday evening to help with a deceased dog case - and then again yesterday when it was discovered there were living dogs at other locations who desperately needed saving.
There have been tears, sleepless nights, and even literal nightmares from what we have seen in the past 48 hours - and yet, today there were cheers.
Cheers for each staff member who stayed late last night, or came back to help after their shift had ended, in order to help receive (and document for evidence) 19 neglected and injured dogs.
Cheers for the outpouring of support from the community.
And, most importantly, cheers for the 19 animals who now have a warm bed, a safe place to lay their head, full bowls, and people to love them - for the first time in a really long time, if not, ever.
Thank you for the outpouring of support through your donations and kind words. We all read your comments. We know your outrage and share in your pain. We can feel your excitement when you are able to help. And we see when you defend us to those who choose to criticize or complain. This work is hard, but it's worth it - and together, we will continue to CHANGE LIVES for animals, and the people who love them.
UPDATE (02/3/17, 4:21p.m.): One of the dogs that was found inside the camper yesterday had been severely injured by some of the other dogs and was near death when ARL and Warren County officials arrived. The dog was rushed to the nearest veterinarian where they began steps to save her life. We want to thank the All Creatures Small Animal Hospital team in Indianola for literally saving this dog's life. When we found her, she was in hypovolemic shock due to multiple bite wounds and hypothermia - we didn't have time to get her back to our vets or she would have died. She is no longer at All Creatures, but still in critical care. She isn't out of the woods yet, but we're pulling for the little gal.
UPDATE (02/03/17, 11:53a.m.): Animal Rescue League of Iowa (ARL) officials assisted Warren County Deputies yesterday (02/02/17) to remove an additional 19 living and 1 deceased dogs from multiple properties in Indianola, IA, bringing the total dogs removed to 19 living and 3 deceased.
The original 2 deceased dogs were removed from a property in Sandyville, IA (near Indianola) on Wednesday (02/01/17) evening.
Some of the dogs on Thursday (02/02/17) were found in a garage, others, including 1 deceased, were found inside another residence, and the remaining dogs were found inside a camper that was attached to a truck.
One of the dogs that was found inside the camper had been severely injured by some of the other dogs and was near-death when ARL and Warren County officials arrived. The dog was rushed to the nearest Veterinarian where they began steps to save its life.
The deceased dogs have all been sent for a necropsy to determine official cause of death. The remains will be returned to the ARL for cremation once the evidence has been gathered.
The remaining living dogs (18) were brought to the ARL throughout the evening where a team of ARL Veterinarians documented the dogs’ conditions and began medical treatment. The ARL animal care team prepped kennels so the dogs would have a warm bed and plenty of food and water. ARL behavior staff are beginning a customized enrichment plan for each dog now that they are settling in.
Among the living dogs, many have visible urine and feces stains on their fur and sores due to their living conditions. An ARL groomer spent 4 hours last night, removing nearly 5 lbs. of matting from a small dog that was removed from one of the properties. Many of the dogs are underweight.
“The Warren County Sheriff’s office has been treating this case with the severity it deserves. Their investigation led to the quick discovery of the remaining dogs who desperately needed to be rescued,” said Tom Colvin, Executive Director for the Animal Rescue League. “The investigation is still on-going and the ARL has made ourselves available to continue to assist.”
The ARL now begins the long road of rehabilitating 19 dog to prepare for eventual adoption. The ARL is seeking donations of canned dog food and medium and large black Kongs for enrichment. Monetary donations to assist with the medical and on-going care expenses can be made here.
Update (02/2/17, 8:30 p.m.) This afternoon we assisted Warren County officials with removing additional dogs related to the case we told you about earlier. More updates will be available tomorrow.
Multiple Deceased Dogs Found On Property Near Indianola
Animal Cruelty Charges Are Pending
February 2, 2017 (Des Moines, Iowa) – On the evening of February 1, 2017 the Animal Rescue League of Iowa (ARL) received information about deceased dogs on a property in Sandyville, IA (near Indianola). We alerted the Warren County Sherriff’s office and met deputies on the property last night. The dogs’ bodies were found in various stages of decay, in and around kennels covered in feces, and with their collars still on their remains.
The Warren County Sherriff’s office is continuing the investigation and pursuing possible animal cruelty charges. The ARL has offered to cover the cost of the recovered bodies to be sent for a necropsy to provide additional evidence for cause of death. We will also continue to assist the Sherriff’s office however is needed so that the person/people responsible for these dogs’ deaths will be held accountable.
“These dogs are suspected to have suffered and died at the hands of those entrusted with their care and then their bodies were carelessly tossed aside. There is absolutely no excuse for this.” said Tom Colvin, Executive Director with the Animal Rescue League of Iowa.
Ironically, at the same time that the ARL cruelty intervention team was meeting with Warren County Detectives, the ARL’s pre-planned Humane Lobby Day was also taking place with animal welfare advocates from all over the state meeting with lawmakers at the state capitol requesting stronger animal cruelty laws – including provisions to protect future animals from convicted abusers.
“We continue to see cases like this throughout the state, but sadly, the punishments do not currently fit the crime,” said Colvin. “It’s time to change that. The animals deserve better and the people of Iowa demand better.”
The ARL has a lobbyist to work on animal welfare issues with state lawmakers, including strengthening animal cruelty laws for companion animals. Sign-up to TAKE ACTION at ARL-Iowa.org/TakeAction and pledge to support the lobbying efforts at ARL-Iowa.org/donate (RE: legislation).
About Animal Rescue League of Iowa
The Animal Rescue League of Iowa is Iowa’s largest non-profit animal shelter, caring for many thousands of pets each year. The ARL serves people and pets from across the state through pet adoption, humane education, pet behavior training, spay/neuter, animal cruelty intervention and much more. For more information, visit ARL-Iowa.org.