Public Safety

Iowa man accused of leaving 2 dogs to starve to death

21-year-old from Des Moines adopted pair from shelter

DES MOINES — A Des Moines man adopted two dogs from an animal shelter and then intentionally left them to starve to death in his apartment, police said.

David James Goodburn, 21, was charged with two counts of animal neglect — serious injury or death — which are serious misdemeanors. He is being held in the Polk County Jail, with a preliminary hearing scheduled for June 12, the Des Moines Register reported.

Goodburn adopted the dogs in March from the Animal Rescue League of Iowa. A criminal complaint says he left 3-year-old Nori and 1.5-year-old Brie without food and water and they eventually died.

Power was turned off and a strong odor was emanating from the apartment Monday, the complaint said.

“It’s believed Goodburn intentionally left the dogs to die,” the complaint said.

ARL of Iowa spokeswoman Stephanie Filer said Goodburn was vetted before he adopted the dogs and gave no indication that he wouldn’t care for them.

She said Goodburn lived in the apartment and several people had visited after he adopted the dogs, and there were no warning signs before this week.

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