NORTHWOOD, Iowa - A little after 4 p.m. the jury had reached a verdict. Barbara Kavars was found guilty on 14 counts of animal cruelty.
The day in the courtroom started with lengthy jury instructions that were crafted by the judge and attorneys for the defense and prosecution. Closing arguments began after those instructions were read.
Kelsey Beenken, Assistant County Attorney, went through all 14 counts, which were related to 14 separate dogs, and showed the jury how animal neglect could be legally applicable in each case.
Defense attorney Michael Byrne then gave his closing arguments. He spoke at length about the testimony of Barbara Kavars, who he characterized as a legitimate, licensed breeder who cared deeply about the dogs in her care. At one point, Byrne characterized the ASPCA as an organization who wanted to get involved because it would get them publicity.
After a few hours of deliberation, the jury returned their verdict. Sybil Soukup, director of the Humane Society of North Iowa was happy with the verdict. She says the organization has been working for nearly 2 years to get Kavars to surrender all of her dogs.