FREEZING WEATHER: Animal Neglect Charges

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Des Moines Animal Control rescued three dogs from the cold in the last two weeks, but only two of them survived.

Authorities are trying to determine the cause of death of a Schnauzer-Terrier mix they took from a home on the city's east side.  They were called to the 1700 block of East 21st Street for a dog was said to have a “frozen leg”.  The emaciated little dog was cold to the touch, couldn’t walk and had to be put down.

While charges in that case are pending, two other pet owners are accused of animal neglect for leaving their dogs out in the cold.

“Those are the cases where we're seeing the animal in distress.  It doesn't have the proper provisions to be out there.  The proper food and water, proper dog house,” says Josh Colvin with the ARL’s Animal Care and Control.

On Sunday, a neighbor called about a dog chained in the front yard at this house in the 2300 block of Williams Street.  Animal control found it sitting in a snow mound “shivering and holding up his paws” in -14 degree wind chills.

Later that same day in the 300 block of Bell Avenue, a man called police after seeing his neighbor's black lab tied up outside in -20 wind chills without shelter.  Colvin says both dogs are in good health.

“Hopefully they've learned what's acceptable and not acceptable,” he says.

Animal Control responded to about 30 calls in the last few days.  Colvin says the phones are still ringing with concerns about animals in the cold.

One of the seized dogs is already back home with its owner.  The other was expected to follow suit today after the owners paid the impound fee.


  • Ms. JJM

    If you’re going to have a pet then take care of it! If only I could I’d like to strip these people of their clothing and leave them outside in sub-zero weather until???? Ignorant people should not be allowed to have pets or children for that matter. No excuse is acceptable for leaving them outside, SHAME ON ALL OF YOU! Iowa needs to put tougher laws into effect to really punish these idiots…

  • Teresa

    These dogs need removed from their homes. They obviously do not care about them. The owner of the dog that was euthenized needs to have criminal neglect and torture charges brought against them. Disgusting

  • Teresa

    The news said 2 dogs were being returned..they should NEVER get them back.! Neighbors of these dogs please keep making calls.

  • Brad

    Iowa law makers need to take action and pass laws that will stop this evil CRIMINAL behavior. These people are a disgusting excuse for a human! I’d like to see the news do an investigative report on these idiots.

  • Ms. JJM

    If charges are brought against the idiots that left the little dog starving and freezing that had to be euthanized their names will be printed. I would like to say thank you to the neighbors that did call the ARL or the police to report the plight of these animals. The excuses that 2 of the owners had(had a family emergency and forgot dog was outside and the other stating that their mountain dog can take the cold) are not acceptable and should not have their dogs back. THANK YOU ARL FOR THE GREAT AND CARING JOB THAT YOU DO!!

  • LB

    Lets have the name of these disgusting ignorant people!! Find the tightest chock chain with spikes – put it around the owners neck and leave him/her chained outside for double the hours they left the dog out. Why in the world are these dogs returned to the owners – they do not deserve to have any pet!! What is WRONG with this state of Iowa that they do not have tougher laws for these poor animals????? Maybe we should chain up the law makers out in the cold and maybe they would feel different. To the owner of the dog who had to be put down because it was starving and freezing – you are a low life disgusting human being who should be thrown in jail for a very long time!!

  • Rebecca Phillips

    Its a her she’s my neighbor she told us neighbors multiple stories its not adding up I have no bad comment but this lady’s nuts

    • Kenda Bailey

      Rebecca. You know very well she would never hurt anyone or anything on purpose She has a good heart and you know it. Keep talking I have her back. And you my friend can call me because this is wrong. Intentionally doing it is one thing. So people should know whole story before casting stones

  • Thomas

    Laws need to be very harsh when stupid people don’t use common sense. For every minute your dog or animal had to suffer outside in those temperatures, that is how long you must suffer. Tied up. No food. No water. No shelter. And how about a thin jacket, just enough to block wind but still freeze you death. How do those laws sound animal abusers?

  • Ash

    U people don’t kno the whole story so how bout u quit judging. What if the dog was just sick and was dying and so they called who they thought could help the poor little dog out from suffering any longer. Some people also can’t afford the medical costs so then what do they then, huh? Judge least u be judged. These news people or media coverage make up stories for u people to believe and then chastise or criticize. There is two sides to every story. This persons story hasn’t been told so u don’t know the whole truth, only what the news, media or journalism folks that are just trying to make a story cuz they have nothing else to talk about, so they come up with stories for all of u to make n poke fun of for ur own selfish desires. JUDGE LEAST U BE JUDGED!!

  • Tiffany

    A lot of people shouldn’t own pets. Ash it sounds like you may know the person responsible? The story pretty much explains it all.. No judging about it. If you leave your dogs out side in -20 windchill and you don’t think twice. you obviously don’t care. The people that did this to there dog can rot. IT’S SIMPLE!!!!!!!!!! If you are not going to take care of that cute little puppy for its ENTIRE life don’t get one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Steve Roseman

    “Authorities are trying to determine the cause of death of a Schnauzer-Terrier mix they took from a home on the city’s east side.”
    “The emaciated little dog was cold to the touch, couldn’t walk and had to be put down.”
    Wonder if they need any help figuring out the cause of death.

  • Lori

    I can’t even stand making my dogs go out to go to the bathroom when its this cold. They whine and hold up their paws within seconds. I don’t think any dog should have to live outside in any conditions. they need companionship and attention not to live alone outside.

  • love my dogs

    Ash…the story speaks for itself. You leave a dog out in this severely cold weather then you don’t deserve the dog..period …there is Never an excuse for neglect are saying this dog was sick? So throw it outside??? This dog probably had a horrible life..don’t defend them

  • Lisa K. Kuehl

    I would like the ARL to define “proper dog house.” State of Iowa code does not provide any recommendations for what is considered “proper.” The only state requirement is that dogs outdoors have “adequate” shelter, but again, no guidelines are listed. Perhaps the City of Des Moines has an ordinance in place that defines these requirements so that animal control was able to step in and go to work helping these poor dogs?

  • Ash

    Hmmn ok right so u mean to tell me that any u of you who has dogs that they never not ran off before bc they want to be outside n roam the block or in neighbors yards. U all outta be ashamed of urselves for just believing everything u hear or see on television. So what if yes this dog was outside but then came back in later on after they had took off when they were supposed to only go to rhe bathroom but a dog bein a dog doesnt just always want to be confined juat like us humans as we need to get out as well even if it is cold. We all have obligations or pruorities we gotta take care of in life n it requires us to be in the extremities of cold harsh weather. This dog then may hace yes becom e sivk for him takin off for however long he jad n the nxt day just die bc they couldn’t take the cold. Then by how means is this animal neglect oe cruelty if the dog was basically dying off as he couldnt eat or walk n they only did what they best saw fit by actually even callin the arc n askin what they should do only to be nailed to a cross bc he ran away on its own n died from its own right of just wantin to go outside n roam the streets.

    • SaintElizabeth Cyrus LovesMat

      Responsible dog “owners” do not just let their dogs out to roam the streets. A responsible dog “owner” would either take their dog out on a leash or have a fenced in yard. To do neither of those things if you have a dog is disrespectful to your neighbors & taking poor care of your dog dog and laziness as well.

      • Ash

        Ok 1st off, a dog shouldn’t just be confined all the time n what if ppl just let their dog be loose so that they can find the perfect spot or w/e to their business. Most dogs yes will just come right back n go in or sometimes tgey just get a wild hair n so they flee n run off or rake off so then how is then the owners fault. A dog will be a dog n wants to see other dogs or just go for a walk or run for crine out loud ppl n this then doesn’t qualify as animal animal neglect regardless of what temperature it is. Judge least u be judged n so be it that any of ur dogs would do this.. u ppl are not holier than thou or saints by no means with all ur harsh disgustingingly cruel comments. This could happen to any one of u n also just if sumone got mad at u really so they just think think they can call the law on u. U all dont kno wat went on or hiw this dog lived so really u ppl should shut ur dag on mouths n kerp ur noses up on out of ppls business for once in ur lives instead of prejudging from sum preconceived notions that ppl come up with!!

    • SaintElizabeth Cyrus LovesMat

      No one is saying a dog should be confined. People should not just let their pets loose its dangerous for the pet & any people in the neighborhood as well sometimes. Its also doubly dangerous for the pet because I know every time I see a dog just out roaming I want to call the ARL because I don’t know if its a stray animal or if someones dog got out or if its just another irresponsible lazy pet owner who just let their pet roam.

      Its the pet owners fault because they are responsible for making sure their pet doesn’t just run off. How do you not understand that? I know that animals have a mind of their own but its our responsibility as their care takers to make sure they don’t run off on us & get into trouble or hit buy a car or beat or killed or lost.

      My pets are my children. They are my family & I would never just let them out to roam the streets just like you wouldn’t let your small children out like that. Like I said if you want to let your pets roam put a fence around the yard or go for walks with them on a leash its good for you & your dog both. Plus when they are out on walks they can meet other dogs too. Oh & there are a few dog parks you can take them to as well. There is no sense to you logic. HUMANS SHOULD BE & NEED TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR PETS! We the humans are the pets care takers!

  • Charity

    I live next door by the lady who dog died. She called me the night before and told me the dog was very sick. She said it would not eat and her and her son was crying. I never seen the dog on the front porch it was only let out for ten min. in the back yard to go to the bathroom but there was always someone with the dog.When I would go to the house there was always food and water for the dog.

  • Kenda Bailey

    How about going after the people on here commenting about someone’s dog yet dont take care of their kids

Comments are closed.

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