NORTHWOOD — Barbara Kavars, the northern Iowa woman found guilty of 14 counts of animal neglect in October, has filed an appeal, claiming she was pressured into giving up her animals.
Kavars, 66, of Manly, was charged after authorities seized more than 300 Samoyed dogs at Kavars’ dog breeding operation on Nov. 12, 2018.
Authorities said the animals were kept in inhumane conditions, their fur was matted by feces. The dogs had skin conditions leading to fur loss and had wounds, intestinal parasites and other problems.
Also, they said, the dogs’ kennels lacked food and the dogs’ water containers were filled with ice.
A Worth County jury in October found Kavars guilty of 14 counts of animal neglect.
She was sentenced to 420 days in jail, but the jail time was suspended and she was put on two years of supervised probation.
The judge also prohibited her from owning and breeding any dogs and limited her to owning one cat during her probation.
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Additionally, the judge ordered Kavars to undergo a mental health exam with possible treatment and pay a $65 fine on each count of animal neglect, for a total of $910.
In the appeal, Kavars claims she was forced to sign an agreement relinquishing ownership of her animals after being threatened by deputies. She also claims she was induced to sign the agreement by being told she would be allowed to keep nine dogs and four cats.
She contends proof of those allegations was recorded on officer bodycams and that those recordings were submitted as exhibits in the original hearing.
The appeal also asserts:
• The court concluded the ASPCA officer at Kavars’ home was not working on behalf of the state, even though trial exhibits say otherwise and an agreement was authorized by the courts to allow the ASPCA to assist Worth County Sheriff’s deputies in executing a search warrant at Kavars’ home.
• The 420-day probationary period is extreme. based on Kavars’ personal history, her requests to the humane society for help and her cooperation in voluntarily reducing the number of animals in her care.