Seizures may spur exotic animal law
By: Associated Press – Associated Press
implementing an exotic animal ordinance after a 900-pound black bear,
four cougars and dozens of other animals were taken from a rural
Maquoketa farm this week after reports of neglect.
Authorities seized 55 animals from the property of Randy and Pam
Garien, said Jackson County deputy Steve Schroeder. The seizure also
included two fox, two cats, eight puppies, 11 horses, 12 dogs and 15
chickens — “the largest animal seizure in Jackson County,” Schroeder
The deputy said county supervisors are considering drafting an
ordinance to prevent further problems.
Dr. Jennifer Doll, a veterinarian who accompanied the deputies to the
farm, said many of the animals appeared to be neglected.
The bear was found with no food or water with more than a foot of the
bear’s own feces lining its cage, according to information in a
search warrant filed in Jackson County District Court. Doll said in
the report that one horse had a lacerated leg, which didn’t appear to
be healing well, and there was minimal food and water.
Doll told deputies she recommended the removal of all the
animals “due to inadequate husbandry and lack of clean living
A veterinarian tranquilized the cougars and bear before hauling them
away, Schroeder said. The animals were taken to an undisclosed
location, he said.
“We are waiting for veterinarians to examine all 55 animals to
determine their conditions,” Schroeder said.
A disposition hearing will be scheduled in August to determine what
happens to the animals. No charges have been filed against the
Gariens, pending the veterinarians’ reports.
Two previous complaints were made to the Sheriff’s Department by
neighbors — one in April concerning no hay or water for the horses,
and another in March 2005 reporting cougars in the pens. No action
was taken in either complaint.
Carole Baskin, Founder of Big Cat Rescue
12802 Easy Street
Tampa, FL 33625 MakeADifference@BigCatRescue.org