Case Snapshot
Case ID: 19258
Classification: Neglect / Abandonment
Animal: dog (non pit-bull)
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Judge(s): Gloria Chevere

For more information about the Interactive Animal Cruelty Maps, see the map notes.

Tuesday, Feb 7, 2012

County: Cook

Charges: Misdemeanor
Disposition: Alleged

» Larry Subject
» Travis Wester

Case Updates: 1 update(s) available

A crime in the Windy City is linking back to North Iowa.

Two men from Britt are arrested in Chicago for animal cruelty.

Police say 22-year-old Travis Wester and 49-year-old Larry Subject, both of Britt, were found with 43 puppies in their vehicle Tuesday morning.
According to a police report...Chicago officers heard loud barking coming from the rear of a parked vehicle.
They say upon further investigation, they found 43 animals in crammed containers.
Wester and subject were arrested and charged with one misdemeanor count of failing to meet animal owner duties and 43 counts of cruelty to animals..each.

We caught up with the Director of the Humane Society of North Iowa to find out why there would be that many dogs in one vehicle.

These dogs are currently safe and sound at Animal Care and Control of Chicago.
But earlier this week - they were among the 43 puppies found packed into a parked vehicle in the windy city.
A police investigation is underway, but we wanted to get some local insight as to what may have been going on.

Humane Society of North Iowa Director Sybil Soukup said, "I would assume these dogs come from a puppy mill or breeding situation, that were being transported to a pet store and this happens every day across the mid-west."

The two men arrested and charged with cruelty to animals are from Britt, Iowa...and Soukup said that's not surprising.

As someone who's been involved in animal rescues like this one in the past - the Hawkeye state has the second largest number of puppy mills or breeding facilities in the United States.

Soukup said, "If you're living in California and you see a lot of six to eight week old puppies in the pet store, a lot of time people don't realize that they came from Iowa...the Midwest and traveled thousands and thousands of miles to get there."

Soukup said it's very possible those puppies were transported from the North Iowa area. So we checked it out.

One of the men arrested, Larry Subject is listed as living at the same address as Oleo Acres Kennels in Britt. Authorities have not said where the dogs came from and the person we spoke with had no comment."

The woman at the address confirmed that Larry Subject is no longer living at the residence, but did say he is employed by Oleo Acres Kennels.

The two men were charged in the incident, because, when it comes to transporting the puppies there are rules that must be followed.

Soukup said, "The transport part of it is not illegal, but you have to provide them adequate food and water supply...that's part of the USDA regulations of animal care and animal transport is providing adequate space."

Soukup said there are more than 23-thousand breeding dogs in Iowa and that means possibly more than 100 thousand puppies born in the state every year.

She said, "that's a lot of animals to care for and that they are breeding for money when people put wealth over welfare that's a problem."

At this point the 43 puppies have been placed with Animal Care and Control of Chicago.
Their director tells us they will remain there until the court decides whether they can go back to the owners, or should be put up for adoption.

Wester and Subject were scheduled to appear Feb. 16 in Misdemeanor Court, Branch 43, for a hearing and on a petition of forfeiture to have the puppies confiscated, Conklin said.

Case Updates

Two Iowa men found last week in the west side Lawndale neighborhood with 43 puppies in their car can get them back.

But it's going to cost them.

A judge, ruling Thursday in West Misedemeanor Court (Br. 43), called the case "almost a clear-cut case of animal cruelty," city Animal Care and Control Commissioner Cherie Travis said in a statement.

While the judge ordered animal control veterinarians to determine if the puppies are healthy enough to be returned, Travis said the judge also ordered the city to calculate the costs for boarding and veterinary care, and submit a bill that Travis Wester, 22, and Larry Subject, 49, apparently will have to pay.

The judge said the "expense would not be borne by the taxpayers," Travis said.

A passing police car early Feb. 7 heard the yapping coming from a vehicle parked in the 2500 block of West Cermak Road. Wester and Subject were using the vehicle to transport the dogs from Iowa to pet stores in Chicago and New York.

Police said the dogs were in cramped containers and did not appear to have adequate food or water.

The judge said it was not an "ideal way" to transport animals, but Travis said the judge did not find the conditions bad enough to forfeit the dogs.

Travis said that the puppies included boxers, Chihuahuas, huskies and Pekingese.
Source: - Feb 17, 2012
Update posted on Feb 17, 2012 - 8:08AM 


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