Who, age What Where When Last known address

Olin Bryce Andrews, 37

Wendy Denise Hurst Andrews, 38

~200 animals seized, 3 dead horses & cats found

Palo, IA

Linn County

March 2, 2005  
Type of Crime Other Crimes #/Type of animal(s) involved Case Status Next Court Date
Misdemeanor   ~200 animals - including 60 horses, 59 cats, 6 pigs, 25 dogs, 5 sheep, 3 peacocks & 5 goats Convicted  

Authorities and volunteers rounded up and hauled away more than 200 animals, including 60 horses, from a farm after a follow-up on a report about a malnourished cat.

Workers with the Cedar Valley Humane Society check one of many cats and other animals removed from a farm in rural Linn County, Iowa.

Linn County sheriff's deputies and volunteers spent hours at Olin and Wendy Andrews' farm. Officials found dozens of cats and everything from a pot-bellied pig to horses, including five goats, five sheep, a peacock, a few guineas, 25 to 30 dogs and six pigs.

They also found the carcasses of three horses and three cats.

The Andrews were cooperative but didn't answer many questions, including why they had so many animals, Sheriff's Sgt. Gene Parks said.

No charges were filed, but the investigation is continuing.

Two veterinarians checked the animals' conditions. Those in good health with food and water were left on the farm, including about 150 geese and ducks, a cow and some chickens.  Many others were loaded onto trailers and taken to another farm.

Parks said there's no limit on how many animals a person can have in rural Linn County, but they have to be taken care of and fed.

He said some of the animals belonged to the Andrews, but others were boarded there for other people.

Update 3/3/09:  Some of the more than 200 animals rescued from Andrews farm have been given temporary shelter in Des Moines.

Investigators went to a farm near Palo to follow up on a report of a malnourished cat from a few weeks ago. They found what they called one of the largest cases of animal neglect the state has ever seen.

"The horses, when given water, were literally fighting over each other in order to get the water," said Tom Colvin, of the Animal Rescue League of Iowa.

Some animals needed temporary homes while the investigation continues, and five sheep went to the Animal Rescue League of Iowa.  "When you feel underneath this coat, there's just nothing there," Colvin said about one of the sheep. "It's just skin and bones."

A rescued potbelly pig lacks the belly for which it is known, and most of its hair has fallen out.  "You can definitely see the concerns when you see them looking like this," Colvin said.

Animal investigators said the people who housed the huge herd likely started with good intentions before the number of animals got out of control.   "But that doesn't matter to the animal that's starving or is in desperate need of veterinary care," Colvin said.

Linn County deputies are still trying to determine charges in the case. After the investigation concludes, animal shelters will look for homes across the state to adopt the seized animals.

Update 3/13/05:  Olin and Wendy Andrews were charged with 13 counts -- four counts of animal neglect and nine counts of livestock neglect.

  (Photo courtesy of KCCI TV)  Linn County authorities searched the Andrews' farm earlier this month. The animals seized included 59 cats and dogs and more than 60 horses.

Update 3/15/09:  A hearing set for later this month will determine if about 200 animals taken from a Palo farm should be considered neglected livestock.

The Linn County Sheriff's Department took the animals earlier this month from the farm of Olin Andrews and Wendy Hurst. Among the animals taken were 59 cats and dogs, more than 60 horses and three peacocks.

If a judge determines the livestock neglected March 22, Andrews and Hurst could be ordered to pay for the care of the animals.

Update 4/11/05:  A rural Palo couple facing animal neglect charges has paid a humane society more than $10,000 for the care of their animals.

The Andrews are charged with four counts of animal neglect and nine counts of livestock neglect.

Their attorney says a deal was made with the Cedar Valley Humane Society. In exchange for the money, the couple would get four of their dogs back and the humane society would monitor the health of the animals.

The settlement will be discussed in Linn County District Court.  Preliminary hearings for the criminal charges is April 29th.

Update 12/13/05:  An eastern Iowa couple accused of abusing dozens of animals claims they were set up. Olin and Wendy Andrews face 12 counts of animal neglect after a "raid" on their farm near Palo last spring. Authorities removed more than 150 horses, dogs, cats and other animals from the property after two vets said the animals weren't being properly cared for.

Wendy Andrews says she and her husband were set up by a woman who Andrews had refused to sell a horse to. "She had been picked up for stealing and I wasn't comfortable selling her a horse," Andrews says. That woman, according to Andrews, was the first to complain to authorities about the animals on the Andrews farm.

Andrews says when their animals were loaded up and taken away, people who owed her money for animals or animal boarding fees were part of the round-up.  "They had no business being there because they had owed me money," she says.

Olin Andrews says he took good care of his livestock and sometimes checked water tanks twice a day.

Wendy and Olin Andrews face up to a year in prison if convicted on the charges. The case is now in the hands of a jury.

Update 12/18/05:  The Andrews have been convicted on eight counts each of animal neglect.

A Linn County jury returned its verdict against Olin Andrews, and his wife Wendy Andrews.

The charges each carry a penalty of up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $250.

Update 1/2/07:  Wendy Denise Hurst Andrews was sentenced to serve 5 weekends by home confinement; a payment plan was set up to pay the court costs, fines, surcharges etc totaling $2467.36 are paid.

Olin Bryce Andrews was sentenced to jail to begin 1/9/07 and every other weekend thereafter until 3/16/07 and entered into a payment plan where 25% of his wages were levied until the court costs, fines, surcharges etc totaling $2467.36 are paid.

Olin and Wendy Andrews filed an appeal (Docket # 06-0801; Civil case CVCV051457 which the court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded.  The sum of $7721.26 was set aside in the appeal, which was to be paid back to the Cedar Valley Humane Society.

Reference:

WHO TV

Des Moines Register

The Associated Press

The Gazette

Radio Iowa

KCCI TV

Omaha World Herald