Monte & Connie Kastler

19 horses found living in cramped, litter and debris-strewn acreage

Woolstock, IA  Wright County

 February, 2006

By the time Wright County Sheriff’s Deputies were forced to intervene, it was evident that the 19 horses that were forced to live in cramped, litter and debris-strewn acreage were starving to death.  Ribs, the knobs of their spines and infections on their skin were highly visible.  Sheriff’s Deputies could see the corpses of four dead horses lying on the ground at the feet of the sick horses, decomposing under a layer of February snow.

Lt. John Mandal received the final deposition against the horses’ owners on Tuesday, August 8th.

Monte and Connie Kastler, brother and sister, owned the unoccupied land at 3028 Keokuk Avenue in Woolstock.  Monte Kastler sometimes lived in the trailer home that sat on the acreage.  Each was originally charged with 19 counts of livestock neglect and one count of failure to dispose of dead bodies.

     (Photo courtesy of The Messenger)

A plea agreement was reached and they were instead found guilty of only three counts of neglect and one failure to dispose charge. They received fines of $864 and were sentenced to 30 days in jail.  All but two were suspended.  They were also banned from owning livestock in Wright County for a year.

This was not the first time that Lt. Mandal had come to the Kastlers with concerns about the sick-looking animals kept in pens and corncribs on the property. Two years ago Mandal had approached them with the help of the Wright County Humane Society offering to help educate them on the needs of the horses.  Lynn Seaba, President of the Wright County Humane Society stated that the Kastlers were unresponsive.  The offer of help was denied.

Mandal, who owns horses, kept an eye on the Kastler acreage.  In February he asked for permission from Kastlers’ neighbor to drive into a field to check on the animals. What he saw brought him to the final stage in dealing with such cases – the county was forced to impound the animals to save them.

The Humane Society took the animals in, fed them and tried to nurse them back to health with volunteers, donations and a place for the animals to stay.  It took 60 days for the animals to regain enough good health to be adopted out.  Two horses remain under the Humane Society’s care.


The Messenger