Deputies this week removed fifty-five animals from an acreage near Maquoketa, a rural home authorities say they’ve checked before about complaints regarding poor care for animals there. Jackson County Deputy Sheriff Steve Schroeder says in addition to chickens, dogs and horses, there were so-called exotic animals including a bear and cougars. Right now there isn’t a county ordinance that bars ownership of such exotic animals, but the deputy says the county board’s currently at work on an ordinance that would prevent it.
He says it’s seldom a good idea to try to make a pet of an animal that’s normally wild, and the exotics don’t make good domestic animals. Schroeder says such an animal is dangerous and could turn on an owner at any time and maim or kill you, even if you’ve raised them from kittens, pups or cubs. The deputies took the mountain lions to undisclosed facilities, and say the bear was in such poor condition it might not survive. Horses were taken to facilities rented by a new equine rescue volunteer group in southeastern Iowa.
In all, the sheriff’s department reported the animals seized included 11 horses, 4 cougars, a black bear, 2 foxes, 12 dogs, 8 puppies, and fifteen chickens.