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NORTHWOOD | A North Iowa woman whose 154 animals were seized from a puppy mill in Manly was charged with 17 counts of animal neglect Friday in Worth County.

Barbara Kavars, 66, Manly, was charged with 17 counts of misdemeanor animal neglect - no death or serious injury.

According to the criminal complaints, 17 animals were listed as neglected.

Kavars 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.

In January, a Worth County court ruled that the animals seized would not be returned to Kavars.

According to Iowa Code, animal neglect charges are simple misdemeanors and, if found guilty, are punishable by up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine between $65 and $625 per count.

Worth County Deputy Andy Grunhovd, who testified against Kavars in December, signed the criminal complaints and detailed the alleged neglect.

On March 27, 2018, Grunhovd arrived at Kavars residence outside of Manly for an animal welfare call.

“Three dogs were found to be in need of care,” Grunhovd said in the criminal complaint. “Kavars didn’t think the dogs needed additional care and that she has been giving care.”

Opal, an adult female Samoyed, had an “open wound on her back hind end area” and was located in a kennel “full of feces and without food or water.”

A veterinarian deemed Opal was “thin” and had to have two-thirds of her tail amputated, according to court documents.  

“Kavars claimed this occurred as dogs in adjacent kennels bit Opal’s tail and possibly other dogs’ tails while being aggressive,” the criminal complaint said.

White Fang, a young adult male Samoyed, had a severe wound on his tail, according to court documents. He was also found in a kennel full of feces, without food or water.

A veterinarian said White Fang was “thin” and had to have his entire tail amputated.

Grunhovd returned to the property on Nov. 6, 2018 for another animal welfare call. He saw Kavars dragging a tarp across the yard with Yeager, an old male Samoyed, laying inside it.

“Yeager had severe wounds to his hind end and was barely moving, was packed in feces and mud,” he said. “ I helped Kavars load Yeager into her vehicle.”

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She told Grunhovd that the incident occurred that morning where another dog fought with Yeager. The dog later died at the veterinarian's office.

On Nov. 12, 2018, Grunhovd and the ASPCA served a search warrant on Kavars and her property.

  • A male Samoyed puppy was found “very thin” and had intestinal parasites. He was found in a kennel with his mother and eight other puppies, inside of a barn, with a strong odor of ammonia and no access to food or water.

  • A pregnant Samoyed was found “extremely thin.” She was located in a kennel with a buildup of feces in the straw, a strong odor of ammonia, ice in two buckets with water under the ice in one of them and two different intestinal parasites.

  • An adult male Samoyed was found “very thin with severe matting on his head, neck and tail with fecal matting on the tail and ear infection.” He was located in a kennel with a strong odor of ammonia, ice in a bucket and no food.

  • A pregnant Samoyed was found “very thin with moderate to severe matting and had intestinal parasites.” She was located in a kennel with a strong odor of ammonia, ice in a bucket and no food.

  • A pregnant Samoyed was found “extremely thin.” She was located in a kennel with a strong odor of ammonia, ice in a bucket and no food.

  • A pregnant Samoyed was found “very thin” with fur mats on her chest and behind her ears. She was located in a kennel with ice in a bucket and no food.

  • An adult male was found “very thin” with a foot infection. He was located in a kennel with a buildup of feces, strong odor of ammonia, a tree smashing the fence, ice with a hole licked in it in a bucket of water and no food.

  • An adult female was found “very thin” inside of a kennel with a buildup of feces, strong odor of ammonia, a tree smashing the fence, ice with a hole licked in it in a bucket of water and no food.

  • A young pregnant Samoyed was found “very thin” with moderately matted fur around the head, neck, tail and rear legs. She also had intestinal parasites. She was located in a kennel with a buildup of feces in the straw, strong odor of ammonia, a tree smashing the fence, ice with a hole licked in it in a bucket of water and no food.

  • An elderly female was found “very thin” with severe matting interfering with movement and pain associated with eyes and feet. She was located in a kennel with a buildup of feces, strong odor of ammonia, ice in a bucket and no food.

  • A young adult female was found “very thin” with severely matted fur and feces around her anus. She was located in a kennel with a buildup of feces, strong odor of ammonia, a tree smashing the fence, ice in  bucket and no food.

  • A young adult male was found “very thin” with moderate to severe matting, a 2 in. diameter fur loss with a scab on his ear and dermatitis. He was located in a kennel with a buildup of feces, strong odor of ammonia, a tree smashing the fence, ice in a bucket and no food.

  • An old male was found dehydrated with “a full thickness wound which was draining and appeared to be painful.” He was located in a kennel with a buildup of feces, strong odor of ammonia, ice in a bucket, no food and a tree smashing the fence of an adjacent pen. This dog was humanely euthanized, according to court documents.

  • An adult male was found “very thin” with moderate to severe matting of feces and mud, a skin ulceration below the matting and one testicle severely atrophied. He was found in a kennel with ice in a bucket and no food.

“Kavars stated there was nothing wrong with her dogs,” Grunhovd repeated in the criminal complaints.

Worth County Magistrate Douglas Krull ruled in January that the animals were deemed “threatened animals” and would 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.

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.

He further noted that Kavars failed to provide sufficient food, sufficient quality of water, 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 is scheduled to appear April 11 in Worth County District Court

“Failure to appear may constitute a crime or be punishable as contempt of court with a possible warrant issued for your arrest,” court documents said.

Photos: ASPCA rescues 160 dogs from Worth County puppy mill

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Contact Courtney at 641-421-0534 or on Twitter @CourtneyFiorini.

 

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