URGENT CRUELTY SITUATION IN IOWA!
Any help is appreciated to raise funds and seek justice for 60 dogs and cats found dying, dead, or rescued, who police failed repeatedly. If you can and are willing to help please send donations to:
c/o Diann Helmers
20744 W Ave
Reinbeck, IA 50669
Times-Republican Newspaper Article>
Caution, the photos are graphic
Dear Adopters and Friends:
In February 2008 I was asked to help with a cruelty/neglect case in a county near here (central Iowa). Long story short a woman Michele Kinzner was portraying herself as a legit Rescue-called Waggin Tails, calling herself a No Kill shelter. She is a squatter (lives in places, never pays, trashes the place) and a scammer and moves on when the heat gets on her and has involved her teenage children as well.
In reality she was starving the animals there.
A local small rescue group in the same town became involved and began to feed the animals they saw, they were standing in about a foot of feces and urine and were starving.
The police were alerted as was the county attorney, board of supervisors, media etc etc etc, the police did not see a problem and did nothing, many times just calling her versus going out there and taking her word she was caring for them.
It is now 3 1/2 months later and still no charges have been filed and it doesn't appear there will be though the law was blatantly broken, the woman has skipped town (we know where she is) now.
Common citizens going out to feed and care for the animals have discovered dead dogs and cats all over the place even up in a hay mount left to starve as they could not get down to get away (they must have been put there), 15 in all, (there were over 60 animals, dogs mainly and some cats on this property and none were well cared for) some have been autopsied and malnutrition was the cause out of 6 of the 7, the one was undetermined.
A cat was found in a cage dead, and as recent as last week a cocker was found dead in the house, no water not even in the toilet and a dying cat was rescued.
The police and others have been called by many sharing their concern and outrage, editorials written, etc., and nothing is being done. It has been stated the police would take strays to this woman!
I have retained an attorney out of DesMoines (very difficult to get anyone to do anything when it comes to animals, she is really a God Send) to get done what we can to get some justice for these animals and try and hold all accountable that allowed this to happen. If the police had done their job there would not have been any animals suffer and die.
After knowing and seeing what I saw I could not just let this one go.
The attorney is Angela Campbell out of DesMoines, Iowa she is usually $250-300 an hour but is willing to take the case for far far less as she feels this is wrong too.
I think the message needs to be sent win or lose the case that someone cares and will not let this just go away until all comes out and hopefully those accountable will answer for this.
This is the first mass plea I have sent out for myself in the name of animals in my 30 years of rescue work and I'm donating as well.
I am asking for your help too.
Four pictures below, please know some are graphic, but I know to see it will help you understand the reason justice needs to be served and I will not get into all the horror details but want you to know this could not have been much worse, these animals received NO dignity in their life but deserve to have some justice in their death.
If you can and are willing to help please send donations to:
c/o Diann Helmers
20744 W Ave
Reinbeck, IA 50669
If you have any questions and please pass this on to anyone you feel would care and want to help.
And if there is any left it will go back into the Agape Foster fund and be put towards the foster pets here or
If you would like your name included in the case for example as a concerned party you are welcome too, there is strength in numbers and the more names added, the better for the animals. If not, that is fine too. You would not be called to testify as you are not a party to direct info but feel if they see many names it will send a strong message.
PS-Many dead animals still lay there waiting for some type of burial, we are trying to get this worked out.
Thank-you for your support by helping me help them. And a prayer or two is certainly in order for those of us trying to get something done and for the animals.
Lawyer sought to bring justice in local animal neglect case
By RYAN BRINKS, TIMES-REPUBLICAN
May 14, 2008
Link to article>
A Des Moines attorney has been hired to seek justice for more than 40 dead or dying dogs found at a Hardin County farm known as Waggin' Tails Animal Rescue.
Diann Helmers, a 30-year veteran in animal rescue who runs Reinbeck's Agape Fosters, said attorney Angela Campbell agreed Monday to take the case, which seeks both farm owner Michele Kintzer and Hardin County law enforcement be held responsible for allowing the neglect to take place.
“I've seen some of the pictures and they're pretty horrific,” said Campbell, who will advise Helmers on the legal options they may be able to pursue.
After 32 dogs were rescued in February, Kintzer eventually released six of the remaining eight, and three of those pets were brought to Marshalltown.
But animal rescuers have also found more dead animals, now totaling 15.
“Every time we turn around we find another one,” said Amy Haas-Gray of the Hardin-Eldora Animal Rescue Team, which first responded to the situation. “... Why is it left up to the public to do this? ... There are laws that protect animals but no one will enforce them.”
Kintzer left the property more than a month ago, according to Helmers and Haas-Gray, and a dog thought to have been taken with her was found dead inside the house. Others have been found dead in dumpsters and in the loft of the barn. Kintzer still has two dogs.
“It's just a progression of finding more and more and more,” Helmers said.
No charges have been filed but the case is still open, said the Hardin County Attorney's Office Tuesday, though the county attorney has been busy with a homicide trial that just got underway this week.
Haas-Gray said she has shared all of the information she has with the county attorney, including veterinarian reports, pictures and pet autopsies that determined six of seven dogs had died from malnutrition.
Helmers pursued hiring a private attorney when she perceived the case to have hit dead ends with both the county sheriff's office and the county attorney.
“Why didn't the police do their job? It can't get more black and white,” she said. “What I'm wanting is some accountability. ... It's not right, in a humane society, to let this happen.”
Helmers has called for donations to help with legal costs associated with the case. For more information, contact her at 319-239-2268.