Six of the 88 dogs seized Wednesday at a southern Sac County farm have been given to Animal Rescue of Carroll. Spokeswoman Stacey Vonnahme said, “This may be the first time they’ve seen sunlight.”
Six of the 88 dogs seized Wednesday at a southern Sac County farm have been given to Animal Rescue of Carroll. Spokeswoman Stacey Vonnahme said, “This may be the first time they’ve seen sunlight.”
Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sac County Sheriff’s officials on Wednesday morning seized 88 neglected dogs and one cat from a southern Sac County farm.

Deputies used a search warrant to gain access to the property — the address and owner of which have not been released — at about 11 a.m., Chief Sheriff’s Deputy Scott Brouwer said in a press release.

A building on the property had cages of the animals, which were “being kept in what is believed to be unsanitary conditions,” Brouwer said.

No criminal charges have been filed for the alleged neglect.

The owner is believed to have been operating a so-called “puppy mill,” in which the animals were confined to small spaces to maximize profits, said Stacey Vonnahme, of Animal Rescue of Carroll, which has six of the seized dogs.

“This may be the first time they’ve seen sunlight,” she said.

Animal Rescue League of Des Moines helped remove the animals, which are being rehabilitated at shelters in Carroll, Boone, Cedar Rapids, Sioux City and Waterloo.

“These dogs, mostly cocker spaniels, had been living in deplorable conditions,” Tom Colvin, executive director of the Des Moines Rescue League, said in a press release. “It will be a long road and a lot of love and patience to help these dogs become normal dogs.”

Eighteen dogs with more severe medical issues are being treated in Des Moines.

Six of the dogs are believed to be pregnant.

A sheriff’s department investigation of the neglect is under way.

Vonnahme said Carroll animal workers are bathing and grooming the dogs starting today, after which they will likely be sterilized and vaccinated against common diseases. If a judge orders that the animals be permanently seized from their Sac County owner, Vonnahme will look for families to adopt the dogs.

“It’s going to take some serious work to get all of this done,” she said. “Some of the dogs are shy, some are friendly. It’s a touch-and-go situation.”