KNOXVILLE, Iowa -- Lindsey Morrow doesn't want to lose custody of the dogs seized from her by Warren County officials and the Animal Rescue League of Iowa. However she wasn't willing to cooperate with prosecutors at a custody hearing Thursday.
Morrow is charged with Animal Abuse, Animal Neglect, Ongoing Criminal Conduct and Theft after a search of her supposed animal rescue operation turned up two dead dogs and 19 dogs in need of medical attention. The dogs are currently in the care of the ARL, but the ARL wants to take full custody of them.
On Thursday a two-day hearing concluded in Knoxville. Morrow is seeking custody of two dogs in particular that her attorneys claim serve as therapy dogs for her autistic son. Morrow's daughter, Amanda, testified that the boy doesn't connect well with children but he does respond to the dogs and they keep him calm.
After her daughter was called to the stand Lindsey Morrow herself was called to testify. However, on the advice of her attorney in her criminal trial she refused to answer any questions by expressing her 5th Amendment Right to protect herself from self-incrimination.
Prosecutors persisted in questioning her still, including discussing details of a phone call made by Morrow that morning to her daughter from the Warren County Jail. In that phone call, which was recorded, prosecutors claim Morrow told her niece to "cry, cry, cry" and say exactly what she was instructed to by Morrow's attorney.
A decision on the fate of the 19 dogs now lies in the hands of the judge. He is expected to make a decision soon.