Ben Smith
Ben Smith
Friday, February 10, 2012

The owner of 87 dogs and one cat seized last month from a rural Kiron acreage has relinquished ownership of the animals and agreed to pay for their removal and care, according to a court order filed today.

The owner, Mary Brodersen, 44, will pay Sac County more than $25,000 to reimburse the costs of care provided by six Iowa animal shelters, including Animal Rescue of Carroll, which has six of the dogs.

Sac County Attorney Ben Smith said he will likely file criminal animal neglect charges next week against Brodersen.

Sheriff’s deputies and animal rescue volunteers seized the animals and five dead pups from Brodersen’s farmstead at 3975 Dean Ave. on Jan. 25.

They were kept without food or water in small, stacked cages in a shed without heat for an unspecified amount of time. They were covered with urine and feces. A deputy discovered the animals last month when he tried to serve Brodersen notice of an unrelated civil lawsuit.

A house on the property appeared to be vacant, according to court records that listed Brodersen as a resident of Denison.

Brodersen has not responded to Daily Times Herald requests to comment for stories.

Smith said Brodersen initially declined to surrender her claim to the animals, and a court hearing to determine their fate was set for this morning.

Brodersen signed the agreement to give up the animals Thursday, and a judge approved it today.

The shelters that have cared for the dogs —located in Boone, Carroll, Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Sioux City and Waterloo — will now be able to give veterinary care to the animals and find them new homes.

“I’m very pleased she will be paying back (some of) the costs of rehabilitation,” said Stacey Vonnahme, of the Carroll shelter.

The two-week delay from the time the animals were rescued until Brodersen surrendered her ownership of the animals today has been “a good time for the dogs to decompress before they go through more trauma with shots and surgeries” to sterilize them, Vonnahme said.

The most difficult task now is to acclimate the dogs to life outside of a cage, she said.

“We’ve never dealt with something like this before,” Vonnahme said, “but I don’t think it’ll be that hard.”