Des Moines Man Allegedly Starves 2 Dogs to Death

posted on Wednesday, May 20, 2020 in News

In March, David Goodburn adopted 2 Bonded Buddy dogs from the ARL, promising to give them a great life. Nori (3 years old) and Brie (1.5 years old) were incredibly sweet girls who loved belly rubs, toys, and especially people. Goodburn completed the adoption counseling process, signed the adoption contract committing to the high standards of care we expect from all of our adopters, and paid an adoption fee. At no point were there any indicators during the adoption process that Nori and Brie would not be safe.

This week ARL Animal Services Officers were called to the home of David Goodburn where, to their horror, they discovered the unimaginable: Nori and Brie were deceased inside his Des Moines apartment. Goodburn is accused of abandoning the dogs and leaving them trapped in the apartment to fend for themselves, which ultimately led to their deaths. He has been charged with 2 counts of animal neglect, a serious misdemeanor demonstrating “willful intent”. The investigation is ongoing and is now with the DMPD. Goodburn remains in Polk County jail as of present.

Mugshot of David Goodburn

We are shocked, heartbroken, and furious. Goodburn not only lied to and misled our team, he did the same to the multiple people who were with him and the dogs inside the home after they were adopted. No one saw any red flags until the call came this week…and by then it was too late.

We have adopted 2,614 pets since the beginning of the year, but these pets are so much more than just a number to us: they’re part of our extended ARL family. We love them deeply, care for them diligently, and take great care in ensuring they go to great homes. We will continue to work with law enforcement to hold Goodburn accountable and will be pursuing civil action for his violation of our adoption contract.

No animal should have to suffer the ways these 2 dogs suffered and the charges allowed by current state law are incredibly inadequate for the crime. Prior to the session recessing in March due to COVID-19, the state Senate had passed a bill to improve the definitions and penalties for animal crimes and it now waits in the House for when the session resumes in early June. We urge you to ask your state representative to support the current version of HF737 so it can go to the governor’s desk. Making your voice heard is fast, it’s easy, and it could have lasting impact on animals in Iowa for years to come. Visit VoterVoice to send a message.

Every single day we receive photos and stories from ARL adopters and they always mean so much to us, but today, we really need something to smile about. We would love to see photos and updates of the ARL pets in your homes, so please share on our Facebook page or upload through our submission form.

In loving memory of Nori and Brie.

Nori and Brie