Iowa kennel owner sentenced for animal neglect

Updated: October 30, 2019 05:55 PM
Created: October 30, 2019 08:40 AM

(ABC 6 News) - The owner of a northern Iowa dog breeding operation who was convicted of animal neglect has been given two years of probation.
Worth County court records say 66-year-old Barbara Kavars, of Manly, also was sentenced Tuesday to 420 days in jail, suspended, and fined $65 on each of 14 counts. She was found guilty Oct. 18.
Kavars is prohibited from owning and breeding any dogs and can only own one cat during her probation.

'Appalling:' Nearly 170 Dogs Seized From Worth County Kennel

Prosecutors say Kavars was holding Samoyed dogs in inhumane conditions when officials raided her operation on Nov. 12 and took about 150 dogs. Court records say 17 dogs had fur matted by feces, skin conditions leading to fur loss, painful wounds, intestinal parasites and other maladies. One dog had to be euthanized.
Kavars denied wrongdoing and testified she fed and gave water to the dogs every day.

The American Society for the Prevention of Curelty to Animals (ASPCA) issued this statement regarding the invsetigation and sentencing:

"The ASPCA commends the Worth County Sheriff’s Office and Winnebago County Attorney for their commitment to pursuing this case and ensuring the person involved was held accountable for the suffering inflicted on some of these animals who were living in inhumane conditions. We’re pleased that justice has been served and that the rescued animals were given a second chance. Most importantly, this outcome sends a strong message that animal welfare is a priority in this community and it will be taken seriously.

Nearly one year ago, in November 2018, the ASPCA played a significant role in assisting the Worth County Sheriff’s Office in the removal of more than 150 animals from a property in northern Iowa. The ASPCA assisted with evidence collection, forensic exams, and provided legal assistance to ensure the best outcome for the animals. The ASPCA also provided ongoing medical and behavioral care for the dogs – including additional puppies born in our care – until disposition was determined, at which point the majority of the dogs were placed with our network of Response Partners across the country where they were made available for adoption. As we approach the one year anniversary of this case, the ASPCA is grateful to our Response Partners for playing such a significant role in taking in these dogs, with the majority now living in new, loving homes.

Because some of the dogs showed signs of severe undersocialization and weren’t immediate candidates for adoption, they were transported to the ASPCA’s Behavioral Rehabilitation Center in Weaverville, NC, to receive specialized treatment for debilitating fear. The Rehab Center, which opened in May 2018, is the first and only permanent facility in the country dedicated to the behavioral rehabilitation and study of extremely fearful, unadoptable homeless dogs, many of whom are rescued from situations of cruelty or neglect, including puppy mills. The vast majority of the dogs from this case that received care at the Rehab Center have graduated and since been adopted, with a few dogs continuing to receive treatment. The following animal welfare groups assisted the ASPCA with this case, including providing temporary care for the animals and placing them into loving homes:

Adopt-A-Pet (MI)
Animal Rescue League of Iowa (IA)
Asheville Humane Society (NC)
Buckeye Samoyed Rescue (OH)
Cedar Bend Humane Society (IA)
Citizens for Humane Action (OH)
Columbus Humane Society (OH)
Dubuque Regional Humane Society (IA)
Geauga Humane Society Rescue Village (OH)
Helping Animals Lost and Orphaned HALO (OH)
Humane Rescue Alliance (DC)
Humane Society of North Iowa (IA)
Humane Society of Scott County (IA)
Kansas Humane Society (KS)
Luvn Pupz (MI)
Nashville Humane Association (TN)
Nebraska Humane Society (NE)
Norfolk SPCA (VA)
Pet Helpers (SC)
San Francisco Samoyed Rescue (CA)
Second Chance Animal Shelter (MA)
St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center (NJ)
Wichita Animal Action League (KS)"

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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