Public Safety

Hearing to determine whether animals found in Vinton home were threatened

Approximately 1,000 animals were seized, taken to area animal shelters

(Submitted photo) Photo submitted by Cedar Valley Humane Society of hoarding situation in Vinton.
(Submitted photo) Photo submitted by Cedar Valley Humane Society of hoarding situation in Vinton.

VINTON — A hearing has been scheduled for next week to determine the status of hundreds of animals seized from a Vinton home earlier this month.

According to court records, Benton County Attorney David C. Thompson on Monday requested a hearing to determine whether approximately 1,000 animals taken from the home of Marshall and Barbara Galkowski have been abused or neglected. Thompson has also ask a judge to assess costs incurred by three area animal shelters for the care of the animals.

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The hearing has been set for Jan. 29 and the Galkowskis have been informed of the hearing, court records show.

On Jan. 16, Vinton police, the city’s building inspector and code enforcement officer and the Benton County Sheriff’s Office served a warrant at the Galkowskis’ home at 607 W. Sixth St. in order to determine whether they had violated city ordinances related to “dangerous and vicious animals” and nuisance abatement. Approximately 1,000 animals, including rabbits, mice, hedgehogs, chinchillas, turtles, fish, birds, hamsters, guinea pigs, gerbils and a ball python were found inside the home and a detached garage. The carcasses of dead animals were found throughout the home and stored in a freezer, authorities said.

At the suggestion of a veterinarian and the Cedar Valley Humane Society, the animals were removed from the home “due to their poor health, housing and sanitary conditions,” court documents state. They were taken to area animal shelters, assessed and given medical treatment, documents state.

“The County believes the animals in question are ‘threatened animals,’” Thompson’s request for a hearing states.

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