Authorities say criminal charges are pending against two rural Forest City residents after more than three-dozen mistreated animals were found at their home. County Attorney Karen Kaufmann Salic says authorities were called on a report of animals apparently left uncared for. She says a citizen contacted the sheriff’s office to report dead animals, and when the sheriff’s office went to check the couple’s adult son was there and helped them look through buildings on the property. Sheriff Penning says deputies found 38 mistreated animals at the home of Rex and Leslie Hale. 8 dogs were dead, locked up without any food or water, and they found 27 other dogs, two cats and a rabbit in poor condition from lack of food and water. Penning says the investigators say the Hales left that home recently with their two children and fled the state, leaving the animals locked up with no arrangements for their care. The sheriff says they took the surviving animals to shelters in Des Moines and Mason City. Penning says warrants will be issued for the Hales. They could face up to 9 ½ years in jail and fines totaling 28-thousand-500 dollars.
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