CLINTON — Animal neglect charges have been formally filed against two Clinton residents.
Thomas J. Mauk, 34, whose address is listed as 422 Fourth Ave. North on the citations, is charged with six counts of animal neglect, death or serious injury, a serious misdemeanor; and three counts of animal neglect, no death or serious injury, a simple misdemeanor.
Teresa A. Muhs, 33, whose address on the citations also is listed as 422 Fourth Ave. North, is charged with nine counts of animal neglect, no death or serious injury, a simple misdemeanor. Appearances for Mauk and Muhs are set for 8 a.m. March 8.
Iowa Code states a simple misdemeanor is punishable by imprisonment not to exceed 30 days and a fine of at least $65 but not to exceed $625. A serious misdemeanor is punishable by imprisonment not to exceed one year and a fine of at least $315 but not to exceed $1,875.
According to the court affidavit, at 7:40 p.m. Feb. 21, Clinton police officers were called to 422 Fourth Ave. North in reference to a report of animal neglect. Officers upon arrival made contact with Muhs, who met with officers on the back porch of the residence. She allegedly refused to allow officers inside the residence. Officers were overwhelmed with the odor of feces emitting from inside the residence as Muhs exited the residence. Muhs allegedly admitted the floor of the residence was covered in dog feces. Muhs stated the residence did not have functioning electricity or heat but claimed the water utilities were still functional. It was determined later the residence did not have functioning water utilities.
The affidavit states eight dogs, all over the age of four months, were found inside the residence. Muhs said she owned three dogs inside the residence and Mauk also owned dogs inside the residence. Muhs said one of Mauk's dogs was killed inside the residence and it had already been removed. The officer's attention was directed to one dog found deceased in a trash can on the back porch of the residence. The deceased dog was found covered in blood and feces. Muhs said the dog found deceased in the trash can was killed as a result of a dog fight inside the residence that occurred just prior to police arrival. Officers did not find any animal waste in the lawn, which led them to believe the dogs remained confined inside the residence.
The affidavit continues that with Muhs and Mauk's permission, eight dogs were removed from the residence by Clinton Humane Society representatives and volunteers. All the dogs removed from the residence were covered in feces. Several of the dogs were covered in blood. The eight dogs recovered from the residence were transported to the Clinton Humane Society. The deceased dog was recovered from the trash can and also transported to the Clinton Humane Society.
The affidavit states each of he recovered dogs was assessed by a licensed veterinarian. Three of the dogs were found to be uninjured. Five dogs were found with injuries and had wounds at different stages of healing, allegedly showing the injuries occurred over an extended period of time. All eight dogs were treated with antibiotics and pain medication. Five dogs found with wounds requiring additional medical attention also were treated by the licensed veterinarian.
The affidavit states that on Feb. 25 a search warrant was executed on the residence. Officers found feces on the floor in every room throughout the residence. Officers observed what was believed to be dried blood on the walls, floors and appliances. Dog dishes were found empty except one containing a small amount of water. No dog food was found in any of the dog dishes or empty food bags. Some loose dog food was found on the floor among the feces.