Reports of animal neglect in Chickasaw County - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Reports of animal neglect in Chickasaw County

CHICKASAW COUNTY (KWWL) - Exposed bones, piles of maggots, and sickly animals could be seen at a farm near Fredericksburg. 

The images are stomach-churning, but worse yet, the man renting a nearby home on the same property tells us all of this could've been prevented.

"There's never been a feed truck here, ever," said Justin Gerleman. He says five animals have died, a result of days of neglect. The thirteen still alive appear to be wasting away, and eating the fence holding them in.

Gerleman says it's become a health concern.

"I have children that live on the property. My well's twelve feet away from the dead animals," Gerleman explained.

Since the owner of these horses has not been officially charged with neglect in this case, we will not say his name. But Chickasaw County Sheriff Marty Larsen says it's the same person who was convicted of neglecting 18 horses in Fayette County, in July of 2008.

"I've been out here several times, because I know his past history," said Sheriff Larsen.

The owner spent 42 days in jail, after pleading guilty to three counts of failing to dispose of an animal carcass. Sheriff Larsen is consulting with a veterinarian to determine the validity of the owner's claims that disease is responsible for what's happening here.

"He didn't know if there was anything else medically wrong with them, but he suspected there was not."

Gerleman just wants to see the suffering on display here stopped.

"They're not going to live here, plain and simple...somebody come in and get them out, and find them shelter, a place where they'll be fed and taken care of, and monitored back to good health."

The owner of that property, but not the horses themselves, tells us he never wanted the horses there in the first place. Sheriff Larsen says for now, the horses are being brought hay to feed on. He's also getting help from a representative of the Horse Rescue League, to figure out what the next step should be for the animals.

Online Reporter - Brady Smith

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