Lee County takes action to address animal neglect

The Lee County Board of Supervisors is working on a plan to address ongoing animal neglect in the county.

The proposal would restrict the breeding of unlicensed animals in the county.

Lee County Attorney Ross Braden said Iowa’s state code provides regulations for certain areas of animal neglect and the Department of Agriculture enforces breeding licenses, but that more restrictions are needed to prohibit hoarding and inhumane treatment of animals.

“There seems to be a void that really needs to be filled in order to protect the inhabitants of the houses who cannot protect themselves, as well as to protect the general welfare of the animals who are subjected to these living conditions,” Braden said.

The county is creating an ordinance after local law enforcement learned of a large confined animal farming operation in rural Argyle that was selling animals online.

Braden said two search warrants were served earlier this year and police found dogs, goats, horses, donkeys, ducks, chickens, geese, rabbits, lizards, a cat , a peacock, a turkey, a hedgehog and a chinchilla that were underweight. and live in filth.

The owners turned the animals over to the Animal Rescue League of Iowa and were charged with animal neglect.

Braden said Strong. Madison police also dealt with animal hoarding. Police recently discovered a house where feces were embedded in the ground and the property was becoming uninhabitable.

Animal control officer Tom Crew said neglect and hoarding of animals is an occasional problem in Keokuk, where he has found cases of what he calls “backyard herders”. Crew said the city has zoning ordinances against raising animals, but the law isn’t strict enough.

“Yes, there are loopholes, especially with the county laws associated with it,” Crew said.

Braden said a new order could include fines and/or jail time for unlicensed breeding and hoarding of animals.

Crew said he and other county animal control officers are pushing for more restrictions against raising unlicensed animals.

“We all want animal welfare laws strengthened,” he said.

“Something is better than nothing, than what we have now, to help us reach out and stop this kind of animal neglect and abuse.”

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