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Clarinda, IA

Case Against Kevin Ray Meads in Iowa

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Starved Dog Found Frozen To The Ground In Iowa


Incident: Animal Neglect Section 717B.3(3) of Iowa Code 2009
Time & Date: March 3, 2010 at approximately 0744 hrs
Location: 327 East Clark St. Clarinda, Iowa 51632
Victim: Male St. Bernard dog name MoJo
Suspect: Kevin Ray Meads
327 East Clark Street
Clarinda, Iowa 51632

Next hearing set for : April 12th District court 9:30 a.m.

On Wednesday March 3, 2010 the body of a dog had been found dead in the back yard of 327 East Clark St, The dog was frozen to the ground. All attempts to free the body were unsuccessful so they then pulled the pickup into the driveway and hooked the chain that the animal was tied to around the back of the pickup and pulled the animal free from the ground.

Kevin said that his dog died approximately 2 months ago. He stated that he was gone when his dog died and no one was home.Kevin said that he has been staying at his girlfriend’s house since January but only one night at a time. He said that they take turns staying at each other’s house. Kevin stated that he feeds his dog twice a day using a plastic coffee container.Kevin stated that the dog had got off its chain and was gone 2 – 3 days back in late December or early January. He stated that the dog had got loose from his chain quite a bit. Kevin stated that the dog had come home and he tied it back up and feed and water it. He then went and stayed the night at his girlfriend’s house. When he returned to his house the next morning to feed the dog, Kevin stated that the dog was gone. There were no tracks in the snow to follow where the dog possibly had run off to. Kevin stated that it wasn’t until the end of January when the snow started to melt that he realized that the dog was lying in the back yard dead. Kevin stated that he was going to bury his dog in the back yard but when he went out to move the animal it was froze to the ground. Kevin stated that it snowed again that night and cover the dog back up so he left the animal until he could free the animal from the ground and dig a hole to bury him.

Vetenarian report:
Internal examination revealed the absence of any fat stores both internally and externally. This absence included the kidney, pelvic, and heart fat which is generally the last remaining body fat to be used up. The stomach and intestines were void of any food or partially digested food.

There was a black and tarry substance from the inside of the stomach throughout the intestines to the rectum. This substance was most likely partially digested blood originating from a gastric ulcer in the stomach. Gastric ulceration can occur when the stomach remains empty for extended periods of time.

Polite letters can sent to the prosecutor, he is willing to take a closer look at this to see if he can elevate the charges. Iowa does have a word in their state law that "might" make it possible to add torture to this charge and that word is "depreved" At this time Kevin is charged with a serious misdemeanor, if elevated to torture, the sentence is an aggravated misdemeanor which holds a much stiffer penalty, not what we would want but we have to start somewhere.

"1. A person is guilty of animal torture, regardless of whether the person is the owner of the animal, if the person inflicts upon the animal severe physical pain with a depraved or sadistic intent to cause prolonged suffering or death."

3. a. The following shall apply to a person who commits animal torture:

(1) For the first conviction, the person is guilty of an aggravated misdemeanor. The sentencing order shall provide that the person submit to psychological evaluation and treatment according to terms required by the court. The costs of the evaluation and treatment shall be paid by the person. In addition, the sentencing order shall provide that the person complete a community work requirement, which may include a work requirement performed at an animal shelter or pound, as defined in section 162.2, according to terms required by the court.

Contact information for Page County prosecutor on this case:
Jeremy S. Peterson
FAX Number:
(712) 542-2582
109 E Main Street
PO Box 478
Clarinda, IA 51632

UPDATE: Published: Page County man charged with animal cruelty

Saturday, April 24, 2010 12:16 AM CDT
The Valley News Today online
Saturday, April 24, 2010
ByTess Greuber Nelson, Staff Writer

On the way to school March 3, children walking along East Clark Street in Clarinda stumbled upon something no child should see – the remains of a two-year-old St. Bernard, thin in appearance and frozen to the ground.

Since that discovery more than one month ago, Kevin Ray Meads, 35, of Clarinda has been charged with one count of animal cruelty, a simple misdemeanor.

Marilyn Shore, volunteer with the Southwest Iowa Humane Society in Clarinda, said she received an initial report about the dog in late February from the grandmother of the children.

“The children reported it to the grandmother who called me directly,” said Shore. “There had been a little bit of a warm up in late February when the kids first noticed it, but they could not tell me the exact address. We went to look for the dog, but because of the blowing snow, couldn’t find it – it was well covered in the snow.”

On March 3, Shore said the grandmother called her again, this time with an address.

According to the Clarinda Police report, an officer was dispatched to 327 E. Clark Street in Clarinda March 3. Clarinda Public Works Director Kelly Parrott also went to the residence and located the deceased dog in a curled position and tethered to a tree with a log chain wrapped around four trees that were sticking up. The dog was frozen to the ground

Once the dog was removed from the residence, it was taken to a Clarinda veterinarian where it was determined the dog was “severely malnourished.”

On March 31, Page County Attorney Jeremy Peterson filed trial information against Meads.

“Trial information is like a grand jury indictment, only it’s just approved by a district court judge,” explained Bruce Swanson, who was named special prosecuting attorney to the case by Fourth District Judge J.C. Irvin April 12. “Charges are filed and minutes of testimony are reviewed by a district court judge, who then makes a determination whether there is sufficient probable cause to bind it over to district court for trial.”

It was Fourth District Judge Timothy O’Grady who approved the trial information, however, when Peterson discovered an in-house conflict with the case, Irvin appointed Swanson to the case.

On April 12, attorney Seth Baldwin filed a written arraignment and plea of not guilty on behalf of Means.

“The next scheduled court date, not necessarily a court appearance, is May 10 for a pretrial conference, where the court is advised by council that there will be a plea entered or it will be continued to the next date, which is the trial date set right now for May 25 in front of a jury,” Swanson explained.

Baldwin explained the dog, large in size, had a tendency to break the link on the chain attached to the collar and run off. Baldwin said when Meads didn’t see the dog on the chain he assumed the dog had run off again.

As for the veterinarian’s report on the dog appearing to be malnourished, Meads told Baldwin he fed the dog regularly, but the dog went through phases where he wouldn’t eat.

“He looked back in the back yard and he (dog) wasn’t there and he thought he’d broke the link in the chain and ran off, so he didn’t think anything about it,” said Baldwin.

If guilty, Swanson said Meads could serve a maximum of one year in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000.

Swanson added he was unaware if Meads has had any prior charges with animal neglect.

In the more than 20 years Swanson has been practicing law, he said animal neglect cases are few and far between.

“I had an incident a few year ago in rural Red Oak where there were 90 counts of animal neglect, but they really don’t happen that often,” he said.

CASE UPDATE:

Count 01 CHARGE
DESCRIPTION: ANIMAL NEGLECT - DEATH OR INJURY (SRMS)
OFFENSE DATE: 03/03/2010 ARREST DATE: AGAINST TYPE:
SENTENCE
CHARGE: DESCRIPTION: ANIMAL NEGLECT - DEATH OR INJURY (SRMS)
SENTENCE DATE:06/21/2010
SENTENCE: COMMUNITY SERVICE 
DURATION: 100 Hour(s)TO BE COMPLETED BY 1/1/11
CHARGE:
DESCRIPTION: ANIMAL NEGLECT - DEATH OR INJURY (SRMS)
06/21/2010 SENTENCE: DEFERRED JUDGMENT
SEN.JUDGE: HECKERMAN, JAMES S
DURATION: 365 Day(s)
CIVIL PENALTY $315.00 

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