Child taken into care, followed by 139 animals

Location of Kootenai County in Idaho.
Location of Kootenai County in Idaho. idaho

Authorities in Idaho have removed an 8-year-old child along with numerous animals, including five horses, from a residence in the Athol area of Kootenai County.

The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office acted last week after receiving information that a girl was living in conditions that were allegedly unsanitary and unhealthy.

The anonymous caller claimed the property had no running water or electricity, Sheriff Ben Wolfinger said.

Deputies went to the property and said the conditions described by the caller were accurate – the house also did not have any sewerage or functioning septic system and was filled with animal feces, rotting food and garbage.

The deputies took the child into protective custody and requested charges against the parents for Injury to a Child.

While at the scene, the concerns of deputies were also aroused over numerous domestic and farm animals, and asked county animal control officials to carry out a welfare check.

The next day, animal control officers visited and found the family had more than 140 dogs, cats, goats, rabbits, guinea pigs, ducks, chickens and horses.

All but the dogs and cats were confined in pens and cages that had no water and most of them were in areas with mounds of feces.

On January 16, animal control officers, along with deputies, the state veterinarian and the Department of Agriculture’s district livestock investigator returned with a search warrant.

Based on the conditions of the animals, their respective lack of suitable living conditions, as well as no financial means to improve them, the sheriff’s office seized 139 animals.

They include 83 rabbits, 38 guinea pigs, 9 goats, 4 miniature horses, 1 full-sized horse, 3 chickens and 1 goose.

The animals were transported to the Kootenai County Fairgrounds and are currently being tended to by Fairgrounds staff and volunteers.

The sheriff’s office said charges were still pending in both the child abuse and animal abuse investigations.


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