NORTHWOOD — A woman who was found guilty of 14 counts of animal neglect will not spend any time in jail, unless she breaks the terms of her sentence handed down in Worth County District Court on Tuesday.
Barbara Kavars of Manly was sentenced to two years of supervised probation with a suspended 420-day jail sentence — 30 days for each of the 14 counts.
Kavars is prohibited from owning and breeding any dogs and can only own one cat during her probation.
She must also undergo a mental health exam and follow any treatment recommendations and pay a $65 fine on each count, for a total of $910.
During her testimony in the hearing, Kavars said she had tried to get the Humane Society of North Iowa to take more of her dogs, but was told it didn’t have the room every time she called.
District Court Judge Lawrence Jahn said he it didn’t appear Kavars did much to alleviate the situation.
“You didn’t spay or neuter these animals or separate them so they wouldn’t become pregnant. I suppose you tried to hire help, but I don’t know what your financial circumstances were. So you can’t blame the Humane Society for not taking your animals,” Jahn said. “That’s not their responsibility. It’s your responsibility to keep these animals under control and more importantly to provide adequate care for them.”
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Humane Society of North Iowa Executive Director Sybil Soukup said she was happy with the sentence Kavars received so the situation would not repeat itself.
“This mess was created by one person. It took a village to clean it up,” Soukup said. “And that’s what’s really powerful to me, is the number of people that stepped in, that care for the welfare of these animals.”
Soukup said the Humane Society will continue to work with Kavars to take any dogs she has in her care currently and find them new homes.
“We were always willing to take dogs from her,” she said. “… There were a few occasions she may have called and we couldn’t take dogs that exact day because our kennels were full, but we always were able to take some from her at every point throughout this process.”
Kavars was found guilty on 14 counts of misdemeanor animal neglect in connection with the operation of a Samoyed puppy mill near Manly after her trial Oct. 18.