The Kootenai County, Idaho Sheriff’s Office received a tip on Jan. 14 about a child living in a home without electricity or running water. According to department spokesman Lieutenant Stu Miller, deputies responded to a home in the 17000 block of East Pend Oreille Divide Road, where they found that the home had no sewer or septic tank. Miller stated that the home was also filled with feces from animals, rotting food and garbage.
Animal control workers investigated the condition of the animals on the property. The home contained 83 rabbits, 38 guinea pigs, nine goats, four miniature horses, three chickens, one goose, and one horse.
All of the animals, excepting the dogs and cats, were housed in pens without access to water. According to Miller, most of the animals were living in large amounts of feces.
The child was taken into protective custody and all of the animals, excepting the dogs and cats, were seized and taken to the Kootenai County Fairgrounds for treatment.
According to Miller, charges of child abuse and animal abuse are pending against the residents of the home.
Under Idaho state law, it is illegal to house animals without access to food and water:
25-3510. Impounding without food or water.
Any person who impounds, or causes to be impounded in any pound, any animal, must supply the same during such confinement with a sufficient quantity of wholesome food and clean water, and in default thereof, is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall, upon conviction, be punished in accordance with section 25-3520A, Idaho Code.
In Idaho, animal cruelty is defined as:
(a) The intentional and malicious infliction of pain, physical suffering, injury or death upon an animal;
(b) To maliciously kill, maim, wound, overdrive, overload, drive when overloaded, overwork, torture, torment, deprive of necessary sustenance, drink or shelter, cruelly beat, mutilate or cruelly kill an animal;
(c) To subject an animal to needless suffering, inflict unnecessary cruelty, drive, ride or otherwise use an animal when same is unfit;
(d) To abandon an animal;
(e) To negligently confine an animal in unsanitary conditions or to negligently house an animal in inadequate facilities; to negligently fail to provide sustenance, water or shelter to an animal.
25-3504: Committing cruelty to animals:
Every person who is cruel to any animal, or who causes or procures any animal to be cruelly treated, or who, having the charge or custody of any animal either as owner or otherwise, subjects any animal to cruelty shall, upon conviction, be punished in accordance with section 25-3520A, Idaho Code.
Animals who are victims of animal cruelty can legally be confiscated:
Any law enforcement officer or animal care and control officer, subject to the restrictions of section 25-3501A, Idaho Code, may take possession of the animal cruelly treated, and provide care for the same, until final disposition of such animal is determined in accordance with section 25-3520A or 25-3520B, Idaho Code.
Updates to this story will be posted as they occur.
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