Cindy Forgy, an Animal Rescue of Carroll volunteer, clutches one of the dogs rescued last week from a rural Kiron acreage. The dog is among six recovering at the Carroll shelter.
Cindy Forgy, an Animal Rescue of Carroll volunteer, clutches one of the dogs rescued last week from a rural Kiron acreage. The dog is among six recovering at the Carroll shelter.
Thursday, February 2, 2012

The 88 dogs seized from a rural Kiron acreage last week may have all suffered serious injury or death from neglect had a mechanic not sued the animals’ owner for past-due payment, according to a search warrant filed in Sac County District Court this week.

A sheriff’s deputy who unsuccessfully tried to notify the dogs’ owner, Mary Brodersen, of the so-called mechanic’s lien on Jan. 12 at the acreage heard numerous barking dogs from one of the farmstead’s buildings.

The house did not appear to be occupied, the warrant said.

“There was a fresh coat of snow on the ground … and there were no tire tracks, footprints or any signs anyone had been at the acreage,” deputy Daniel Bruscher wrote.

The deputy visited again eight and 10 days later to serve the notice and still heard the barking. And still, no sign of Brodersen.

On the 11th day, he brought a Sac City veterinarian to assess the situation.

The pair peered inside the building that housed the dogs and saw no food or water for the animals, which were covered in urine and feces.

“Just opening the door you could not breathe due to the smell,” Bruscher wrote to a judge when he applied for the search warrant.

The veterinarian, James Bullock, described the building as a small, unventilated, filthy room with dogs confined together in “very tiny” cages with no food or water.

“There was no evidence that any of these animals had been outside of their confined cages for some time,” Bullock wrote to a judge. “These conditions were despicable.

“This environment will jeopardize the life of each and every one of these dogs.”

Deputies and animal-rescue volunteers seized the dogs, one cat and five dead pups from Brodersen’s property at 3975 Dean Ave. on Jan. 25.

Criminal charges are expected next week, Sac County Attorney Ben Smith said today.

Animal shelters across the state are caring for the animals, and Smith awaits reports on the animals’ injuries before he will file the charges.

“There will be criminal charges. It’s just a matter of having that information,” he explained.

Smith said he spoke to Brodersen after the animals were seized and said she asked two questions: Am I under arrest, and when can I get my dogs back?

“All I want her to do is surrender them,” he said. “My hope is that by the end of the day today … she’ll agree.”

Smith said sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of Brodersen’s dogs running loose about six months ago.

Deputies found more than 100 dogs at the time, Smith said, but a veterinarian said they were not malnourished, and consequently, could not likely be seized by court order.

The dogs were living in several buildings on the property, Smith said, including the house, in which Brodersen claimed she was living at the time.

Deputies worked with Brodersen to improve the conditions, and Brodersen agreed to start selling off all the animals and stop her dog-breeding business, which she had operated for years, Smith said.

The search warrant filed this week says Brodersen now lives in Denison. She did not return several telephone calls to comment for this story.

Animal Rescue of Carroll is rehabilitating six of the dogs at its shelter north of Carroll.

Cindy Forgy is among about 10 Animal Rescue volunteers who visit the dogs twice each day to give food and water and clean their kennels.

“They’re still skittish, but that’s not surprising given what’s happened to them,” she said Tuesday as she tried to coax them to come a bit closer.

“I try not to think about it,” she said of their conditions on Brodersen’s acreage. “How could anybody do that?”