ASPCA: ‘Justice has been served’ in puppy mill case

Published 10:30 pm Thursday, October 31, 2019

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals commended the Worth County Sheriff’s Office and Winnebago County attorney this week for their commitment to pursuing the puppy mill case in Manly, Iowa, over the last year.

“We’re pleased that justice has been served and that the rescued animals were given a second chance,” the organization said in a statement. “Most importantly, this outcome sends a strong message that animal welfare is a priority in this community and it will be taken seriously.”

Barbara Kavars of Manly was found guilty of 14 counts of animal neglect and earlier this week was sentenced to two years of unsupervised probation with 420 days in jail suspended. She is prohibited from owning and breeding any dogs and can only own one cat during her probation.

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The ASPCA in November 2018 assisted the Worth County Sheriff’s Office in removing more than 150 animals from Kavars’ property and assisted with evidence collection, forensic exams and ongoing medical and behavioral care for the dogs.

The majority of dogs were placed with the organization’s network of response partners across the country, where they were made available for adoption and are now living in new homes.

The organization stated 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, North Carolina, to receive specialized treatment for debilitating fear. The majority of the dogs from this case that received care at the rehab center have since been adopted and a few continue to receive treatment.

Animal rescue groups in Michigan, Iowa, North Carolina, Ohio, Kansas, Tennessee, Nebraska, Virginia, South Carolina, California, New Jersey and Massachusetts assisted.