STORM LAKE, Iowa (KCAU) – Police in Storm Lake arrested three people on charges of animal neglect and child endangerment after finding more than 50 cats and dogs in a house with unsafe conditions.
The Storm Lake Police Department said in a release that they received a report from a concerned citizen Wednesday afternoon that there were too many animals in a residence. They said they thought the animals created an unsafe environment at 1014 Michigan Street in Storm Lake.
Police met with three adults and a 17-year-old juvenile at the residence. They said they saw many cats, as well as a significant amount of feces and urine on the floor. They also detected a “dangerously strong odor” from the animal waste. The occupants were then evacuated from the residence. They were taken into custody pending an investigation.
After re-entry, the police said they found the residence to be deplorable and unsafe. They dispatched the Storm Lake Public Safety Joint Lab Response Team to help officers by providing protective clothing and gear and assisting with decontamination.
Authorities removed 30 dogs and 21 cats from the residence. They were taken to Lake Animal Hospital in Storm Lake for evaluation and disposition.
After their investigation, the police charged Juana Munoz, 58, Veronica Munoz, 28, and Myra Lopez-Munoz, 22, all of Storm Lake with one count of child endangerment, and 15 counts of animal neglect. They were each booked into the Buena Vista County Jail on a $6,500 bond each.
The 17-year-old was removed from the home and placed with a relative.
The City of Storm Lake Building Official’s Office was requested at the scene to address the interior conditions of the home, and to pursue red tagging the home until living conditions have been corrected. The police also filed with the Iowa Department of Human Services.