CEDAR RAPIDS – For about two hours, people drove up to the Animal Health Technology Building on the Kirkwood Community College campus, toting animal carriers and looking to help get 59 dogs to foster homes and area animal shelters.
"These won't be their permanent homes," said Sonia Brandley of the Last Hope Animal Rescue on where the dogs were headed. "These will be their foster homes."
By 1:30 p.m., cars, trucks and even a horse trailer lined up to take the last of these dogs to their next stop. On Monday night, the Jones County Sheriff's Office executed a search warrant after receiving complaints about possible abuse and neglect at the Thunder Ridge Dog Kennel, near Wyoming on Highway 64.
As of Tuesday afternoon, charges were not filed against the kennel's owner, Harold "Buzz" Powell.
"We are waiting for the veterinarian clinic to make a determination if this is a criminal issue or if this is a need to clean up," said chief deputy Greg Graver of the Sheriff's Office. He said their investigation will continue until they reach a point on whether or not to file charges against Powell.
Brandley said the dogs that were taken for medical care from Thunder Ridge, a kennel that breeds Shiba Inus, West Highland Terriors, Boston Terriors and Basenjis, had common issues.
"Skin infections, parasites, there were some eye infections," said Brandley. "Dehydration was the main concern for most of the animals."
On Monday evening, Powell said the dogs would be returned "because there is no neglect". After the dogs were moved out of Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, he said he would "fight to get his dogs back" and that any medical issues the dogs may have were minor and could be fixed.
The volunteers, some from local animal shelters and rescue operations, did not want to talk about what they were doing and repeatedly told reporters to leave the premises.
"A lot of the secrecy is because we want to protect the homes that we're going to," said Brandley. "These are families and people with other pets. We want them to go to these homes and we can track them from there."