The Cedar Valley Humane Society is pleased to announce that it has reached a voluntary legal settlement and release agreement with Benton County, the City of Vinton, and Barbara & Marshall Galkowski in the matter of the Petition for Disposition of Threatened Animals filed by Benton County on January 22, 2018.
In an order issued February 8, 2018, Judge Patrick Grady ordered that the animals removed from the Galkowski residence (now totaling more than 800) had been neglected within the meaning of Iowa Code §717B.3. In that order, the Court ruled that all but 14 animals were to be permanently removed from the Galkowskis’ custody. The Court ruled that the Galkowski family was permitted to retrieve a total of not more than ten rabbits and/or guinea pigs, along with one turtle and three lizards by February 16, 2018, provided the Galkowskis paid expenses for the animals. The remaining animals were to be sold to the public in groups of no more than 10 so long as they cleared as healthy. Any animals remaining after February 18, 2018, were to be destroyed as provided by Iowa Code §717B.4 (4).
A hearing was held on February 15, 2018, and the Cedar Valley Humane Society was allowed to intervene in the matter. The Court amended its order to provide that should Cedar Valley Humane Society be unable to dispose of the animals by sale by February 26, 2018, Benton County had the discretion to have the unsold animals euthanized.
Late last week, a settlement was reached between the Cedar Valley Humane Society, Benton County, the City of Vinton, and Barbara & Marshall Galkowski. On February 26, 2018, the Court adopted the settlement and release agreement in its entirety. As part of the settlement, the Galkowskis, Benton County and the City of Vinton permanently forfeited ownership of all seized animals, including the 14 animals that were previously ordered to be returned to the Galkowskis. All seized animals are now the property of the Cedar Valley Humane Society and will be adopted out of that facility in accordance with its policies and mission. The Galkowskis are prohibited from attempting to reobtain ownership, either directly or via a third party, of the seized animals.
In exchange, the Cedar Valley Humane Society has waived all fees associated with the seizure, transport, boarding, and in-facility care of the animals to Benton County, the City of Vinton and the Galkowskis.
Cedar Valley Humane Society operates as a no-kill animal shelter. Therefore, all of the animals seized from the Galkowski residence will be adopted out of its facility – none will be euthanized. The organization is beginning the process of preparing the animals to be placed up for adoption, which is set to begin within the next week. The Cedar Valley Humane Society is very much looking forward to placing each of these animals into permanent, loving, and caring homes.
The Cedar Valley Humane Society would like to thank attorneys Carrie Thompson, Christine Conover and Mark Roberts of Simons Perrine Moyer Bergman PLC, and attorneys Natalie Clouse and Jeremiah Junker of Bradley & Riley PC, for representing the organization in this matter.
The Cedar Valley Humane Society would also like to thank the Vinton Police Department for working alongside CVHS in the seizure of these animals.
The Cedar Valley Humane Society would also like to thank the staff of Edgewood Animal Hospital, most notably Dr. Leigh Ennen and Dr. Bruce Ennen, for their long hours and assistance in providing ongoing medical care for all of the animals in this case.
Finally, the Cedar Valley Humane Society would like to thank the many volunteers and supporters who have provided our organization with the help it needed to provide ongoing care to the animals in this case. Since the seizure of the animals, volunteers have spent more than 1,000 hours providing care to the animals from this case.