NASHUA - A day after rescuing a herd of horses near Fredericksburg, the Chickasaw County Sheriff's Office used a search warrant to seize 12 dogs from a home near Nashua.
Deputies, a veterinarian and animal rescue volunteers - assisted by staff from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Chickasaw County Sanitation Department - took the canines from 1266 270th St. Wednesday afternoon.
"It was the second time we've been there," said Ken Rasing, the county's environmental health director.
Authorities also discovered carcasses of five dogs.
"Two of them were burnt," Rasing said. "I think they thought that was how they were going to dispose of them."
The three other dead dogs were buried, according to Rasing.
Citations for improper disposal of animal carcasses are pending against Lewine Goings-Boucher, according to a statement released by Lt. T.W. Miller with the sheriff's office.
He said more charges may be filed.
Those searching the premises found canines that appeared in ill health and malnourished puppies, Miller said.
Living conditions were also a factor in authorities' decision to take action.
"The whole totality of the circumstances led us to remove the dogs," Miller said.
Deputies identified three St. Bernard dogs, dachshunds, lhasa apsos and other small breeds, according to Miller. The animals ranged in age.
According to Rasing, two of the dead dogs were lhasa apso, a small breed typically weighing no more than 15 pounds and less than a foot tall.
The surviving dogs are in the care of the Chickasaw County Sheriff's Office, but Miller declined to specify where the animals were taken. Care plans for the rescued dogs includes assessing health needs and updating vaccinations.
"It's quite a process, and, luckily, we have volunteers here in our county who are able to assist us ... ," Miller said.
Carmen Conklin, director of the CW Rustic Hollow Shelter for cats in Nashua, described Goings-Boucher's operation "as basically a puppy mill." Conklin noted, however, she had only driven by the property, which features a long building.
"Cages were not visible from the road," Conklin said.
Acting on a tip, Chickasaw County deputies in December 2006 seized 30 animals from Goings-Boucher. The collected menagerie in that case included younger dogs and cats, goats and a horse.
The operation was not in compliance with U.S. Department of Agriculture standards, deputies said then. Goings-Boucher did not having proper licenses for the kennels and was not providing parasite protection. The overall facility design was also inadequate, according to authorities.
No charges were filed.
A series of events led up to Wednesday's search and seizure, Miller said.
On April 30, Chickasaw County authorities responded to a report of an animal bite at Goings-Boucher's property. The incident led to a request for the Iowa Agricultural Diversification & Market Development Bureau to assist in a kennel inspection, according to the sheriff's office. On May 3, the state veterinarian claimed Goings-Boucher had no state or federal license for kennels. On Tuesday, a citizen complained about alleged animal neglect at the property, and local authorities launched an investigation.
Deputies that same day also removed 13 horses and a mule from a farm at 2574 250th St. northwest of Fredericksburg. Authorities described the animals as suffering from neglect, malnourished and severely emaciated. Some had injuries.
The herd belonged to Kelly Olson, who was involved in similar incidents in 2006 and 2007 in Chickasaw and Allamakee counties. He spent 42 days in jail in 2008 in Fayette County after pleading guilty to three counts of failure to dispose of an animal carcass and driving while barred.
Staff Writer Karen Heinselman contributed to this story.