Judge Says Sheriff Must Return Seized Horses To Southeast Iowa Farm

KEOKUK, Iowa (AP) — A judge says the Lee County Sheriff's Office erred in its seizure of 37 horses from a southeast Iowa farm, and the department must return them to their owner who still faces charges of animal neglect.

The Burlington Hawk Eye reports the ruling Wednesday means the horses must be sent back to Jeffrey Lee Graber. The animals were taken in January.

The judge ruled deputies failed to follow proper procedure when removing the horses. It's unclear when the horses will be back. Some were adopted by rescue facilities in Iowa and surrounding states.

Graber faces three counts of livestock neglect and improperly disposing of an animal carcass. A trial date in North Lee County District Court has not been scheduled. Court records do not list an attorney.
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