Man arrested, faces charges in Dubuque animal neglect case

A picture from court documents show a neglected horse taken from a home by Dubuque Police on...
A picture from court documents show a neglected horse taken from a home by Dubuque Police on December 17, 2019. (Courtesy: Dubuque Police)(KCRG)
Published: Dec. 27, 2019 at 9:05 AM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Dubuque Police arrested a man early Friday morning who now faces multiple charges in an animal neglect case.

30 year old Cesar Leonel Gonzalez is charged with livestock neglect resulting in death, eight counts of failure to dispose of a dead animal, and multiple counts of livestock neglect.

Authorities have removed several animals from a Dubuque farm where more than a dozen other animals were found dead.

WARNING: We do have pictures of some of those dead animals with this story. They're at the bottom of the text, and are part of a slide show following the mug shot of Leonel Gonzalez. If you do not want to see the pictures, do not click on them.

It all started on December 7th, when Dubuque Police received a report of possible neglect of a donkey at the home at 2663 Roosevelt Street. Animal control found the animal to be in poor condition.

On December 11th, an Animal Control Officer returned to the home for a report of animals on the loose. They found several dead animals at the home at that time.

Authorities returned to the home on December 13 to check on the animals. While there, they found at least 28 animals, 13 of which were dead, still laying outside.

On December 17, Dubuque police removed 26 animals found in poor health from the farm. Police worked with the Dubuque Regional Humane Society and Iowa Equine Rescue and Awareness League.

"An animal shouldn't have to go through that at all, so I'm glad that action was taken and we were able to help," said Amanda Shaffer, Dubuque Regional Humane Society shelter manager.

According to court documents, the animals included 6 horses, 1 pony, 1 miniature pony, 4 goats, 2 sheep, 1 cow, 5 pigs, 2 geese, 1 duck, 1 chicken and a one domesticated pigeon. Another chicken flew into a wooded area and officers were not able to catch it.

The horses are now being cared for at the Iowa Equine Rescue and Awareness League in Cedar Rapids. Karla Sibert founded the organization in 2006, and says every rescue operation is different.

"Our goal when we go there is just to get them out of there and get them back to good health," said Sibert.

Authorities say the bones and rib cages of some of the animals could be seen, and many had matted hair. Documents also show their food was dirty and poor quality.

Of the animals dead, they found a goat, a piglet, a donkey, a pony and multiple chickens. Police say they were in various stages of decomposition.