DONNELLSON – Twenty-eight horses and three miniatures horses have access to feed, water and shelter in Donnellson today, but help came too late for one of them.
The Lee County Sheriff’s Office arrested Jeffrey L. Graber, 55, of 1930 Highway 2, Donnellson, today for livestock neglect leading to the death, a serious misdemeanor; improper disposal of a dead body (horse), a simple misdemeanor; and two counts of livestock neglect, each a simple misdemeanor, for the surviving horses in two separate locations.
If he is convicted of the serious misdemeanor, Graber could face up to one year in jail and $1,075 in fines. If he is convicted of the simple misdemeanors, he could be fined up to $625 and be given 30 days in jail for each count.
The sheriff’s department conducted a search warrant today at two properties owned by Graber.
The inspection of the properties and the animals showed that numerous horses lacked necessary sustenance and care consistent with animal husbandry practices, said Sheriff Jim Sholl.
The investigation also showed that the offense of livestock neglect resulted in the death of one horse at the property.
The Iowa Code only allows that a person be charged with one serious misdemeanor when care and sustenance is not provided to multiple head of livestock during any period of uninterrupted neglect, resulting in death of livestock.
“We will serve notice from the county attorney to Graber of a program for rehabilitation under the supervision of a local veterinarian,” Sholl said.
The State of Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Lee County Attorney’s Office, Lee County Sheriff’s Reserve Unit, and Iowa Equine Awareness and Rescue League assisted in the investigation.