June 12, 2014

Animals removed from home

Courier staff writer

---- — OTTUMWA — Twenty one dogs were seized in animal hoarding case late Wednesday afternoon.

Jeff Williams, Ottumwa’s animal control officer, said the seizure began after a routine follow up investigation at 210 N. Sheridan St. Officers found large amounts of animal waste and a strong smell of ammonia in the house.

The city’s inspections department placarded the house due to conditions, prohibiting anyone from living there until it is cleaned up.

Currently charges are pending on Mark Teater, the dogs’ owner. Teater has relinquished rights to all but four animals to Heartland Humane Society, according to Williams. There may be more dogs on the way; Williams said several of the dogs are thought to be pregnant.

A slight smell of ammonia outside hinted at the home’s interior conditions. The Ottumwa Fire Department was called to help air out the house. Four large, 40-pound bags of dog food were visible on the home’s front porch.

Williams believes the situation developed from, “a good-hearted, good-natured person trying to do the right thing who just got overwhelmed with too many animals.”