NORTHWOOD | A Worth County court ruled animals seized from a North Iowa puppy mill will not be returned, documents said.
Barbara Kavars, 65, Manly, asked the Worth County Magistrate Court to allow her to keep 13 animals, nine Samoyeds and four house cats, of the 154 animals seized by the county the Worth County Sheriff's Office and American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in November.
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Worth County Magistrate Douglas Krull ruled Monday that the 13 animals requested are deemed “threatened animals” and will not be returned to Kavars.
“The Court concludes that overall, and specifically to the 13 animals at issue, the evidence of neglect as defined by the Code of Iowa is overwhelming,” Krull said in court documents.
Krull did not find portions of Kavars’ testimony to be credible.
“The court as a finder of fact determines that Kavars either is being untruthful regarding the condition and her care of the animals, or she does not comprehend the actual conditions which were in existence at the kennel and the status of the dogs and pups in her care,” Krull said.
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Krull noted that the animals were not abused or tortured but they were neglected.
“The conditions in which the animals are kept, including the limitations of food, water, and the existence of any foul order (sic), the presence of matted fur, abscesses, chewed ears, bacterial infection and parasites support a finding of neglect,” Krull said.
Krull did not believe that Kavars would stop breeding dogs in the future.
One of the dogs Kavars wanted to keep was pregnant.
"If we were to reward back a dog that is pregnant, we will be back in this situation next year," ASPCA Veterinarian Dr. Elizabeth Pearlman said during her testimony.
At the time of the animal’s seizure, Kavars told Worth County Deputy Andy Grunhovd that she wanted to continue breeding and she would like at least two female dogs back.
Krull noted that Kavars failed to provide sufficient food and sufficient quality of water. He also noted that she did provide adequate shelter and did not take appropriate measures to stop the animals from fighting which resulted in the death of at least one animal.
“Animals were confined, injured because of the confinement, and left in horrid, filthy conditions,” Krull said.
Kavars has a right to file an appeal within 20 days.