NORTHWOOD, Iowa - Three witnesses took the stand on the third day of the Barbara Kavars animal neglect trial. One of the witnesses was Kavars herself.
The first person to testify was Dr. Michelle LaCoste, a veterinarian based in Mason City. LaCoste examined many of the dogs that were seized from the White Fire Kennel. She says one of the dogs was so thin you could feel all of her ribs and her pelvis.
Iowa state livestock inspector Marc Rue was then called to testify. In his short testimony, he said that Kavars' licenses with the state were all up to date.
In a bit of a surprise, the defense called Barbara Kavars to the stand. She said she did her best to make sure the dogs were fed, watered and medicated when they needed it. One of the dogs with matted fur was discussed.
Kavars said, "I don't think it was any severe condition and with her being so close to having puppies, I didn't want to put her under the stress of trying to groom her."
Worth County Assistant Attorney Kelsey Beenken then got her chance to cross-examine Kavars. She asked, "Do you think it's okay that you had an emaciated pregnant dog?" Kavars responded, "I would have corrected it if I had known."
Kavars then admitted that she was keeping male and female dogs together leading to more puppies. She also says she reached out to the North Iowa Humane Society to take some of the dogs but they said they didn't have room.
Kavars was asked several times how she had time to take care of 154 dogs. She replied, "I wanted to reduce my numbers. If you have a large family at home or relatives you're visiting and are gone a lot during the day, you have less time. If you work full time or part time, of course, but that is what I did all day."