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Manly dog breeder looks to keep some of the seized dogs

The owner of White Fire Kennel in Manly, Barb Kavars, made her first appearance in court Monday after filing a petition to keep nine Samoyeds and four cats of the nearly 160 dogs seized in mid-November.

Posted: Dec. 3, 2018 8:00 PM
Updated: Dec. 4, 2018 7:25 AM

NORTHWOOD, Iowa- The owner of White Fire Kennel in Manly, Barb Kavars, made her first appearance in court Monday after filing a petition to keep nine Samoyeds and four cats of the nearly 160 dogs seized in mid-November.


The Worth County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant for those dogs and cats with the ASPCA on November 12th, citing neglect and subpar living conditions.


The first person to take the stand Monday morning was Deputy Andy Grunhovd, who says he was one of the first people to walk through the property and see the living conditions after receiving a call from the Humane Society of North Iowa.


“As we walked through, she said she was concerned that some of the dogs were fighting and she wasn’t able to get them separated,” said Deputy Grunhovd.


He went on to explain that the kennels were covered in feces, mud and saturated in urine but it wasn’t until November 12th that he saw the conditions inside Kavars' home.


“It was awful,” he said. “Walking up to the door you could smell the ammonia. It was incredibly strong. When you went inside it would almost take your breath away.”


An investigator with the ASPCA also assisted with the investigation and agreed that the living conditions were lacking in fresh water in a severe way.


“The bowls of water had visible lick marks several inches deep,” he said. “That’s something I have only seen a few times before.”


ASPCA forensic veterinarian Elizabeth Pearlman also took the stand saying that the feces and urine saturated ground could cause infections to the dogs, especially the once with open wounds. Pearman explained that she had seen dogs fighting on the property at least three times during her time leading up to the seizure.


She went on to explain that even the dogs Kavars wanted returned were not in a healthy condition.


“This dog has a dental fracture of the left tooth,” she said. “This one has a good amount of brown wax debris in its ears.”


That’s only two of the 154 taken from the Manly breeding operation. Pearlman explained that she had major concerns for around 70 of the dogs.


But Grunovd said they had only started getting contacted about the issues on Kavars property this past year.


“Her husband had died in June of 2017,” he said. “She had made comments that he did all of the heavy lifting.”


The defense will be calling their first witnesses Tuesday morning including Kavars. The Judge will make a decision on whether Kavars can keep the dogs in the next couple of weeks.

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