Archive for  January 30th 2018

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VINTON, Iowa  —  A northeast Iowa woman accused of hoarding hundreds of animals appeared in court for the first time on Monday.

Police seized 500-1,000 animals from a home in Vinton earlier this month. The animals included rabbits, mice, hedgehogs, turtles, fish, and hamsters, among others. Prosecutors say the animals were abused, and during Monday’s hearing argued against returning them to their owner.

“There was an instance where there was two rabbits in a cage, one was dead, the other one was consuming its flesh because it had no food or water,” said veterinarian Dr. Ennen Leigh.

The animals’ owner, Barbara Galkowski, presented pet food receipts trying to prove the animals were cared for and fed. Galkowski also took the stand, saying some of the animals were kept in small cages and moved into the house temporarily to get them out of the cold in the garage. She said the rabbits were only typically kept in small crates when they traveled to shows, and were moved into them shortly before they were removed from the home because her daughter was “concerned they were going to die.”

The judge did not issue a ruling on the custody of the animals, which are currently being cared for by area animal shelters. Galkowski is not currently facing any criminal charges.

STORM LAKE, Iowa  —  The Iowa DNR is helping with a massive wastewater leak into Storm Lake.

The leak was discovered on Monday morning on the northeast shore of the lake near King’s Pointe Resort. The DNR says the leak started sometime on Friday when crews damaged a large sewer line during a repair work.

The damage caused up to 500 gallons of untreated wastewater to spill into the lake every minute. As of 3 p.m. on Monday, the DNR was still working to fix the leak. That works out to nearly two million gallons of waste water released into the lake.

The DNR is encouraging people to avoid the area, but say fish caught in the lake are still safe to eat if rinsed off before cleaning.