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Local 5 - weareiowa.com | Des Moines Local News & Weather | Des Moines, Iowa

Neighbors say 60+ horses aren’t being cared for, keep escaping in Dallas County

DALLAS COUNTY — Several people in rural Dallas County said they’re worried more than 60 horses are in danger. Jamie Cirksena, who worked at the horse farm...

DALLAS COUNTY — Several people in rural Dallas County said they’re worried more than 60 horses are in danger.

Jamie Cirksena, who worked at the horse farm for almost two years, said the owner is struggling to care for the horses.

“Last I knew there were 69 of them, but she has gotten rid of a couple of them since then,” Cirksena said.

Cirksena said she no longer works at the horse farm, but comes back every once in a while to help out.

She decided to speak to Local 5 after finding one of her favorite horses dead this week.

“I couldn’t take it anymore because there were already two other horses dead in the field that she hasn’t taken care of yet,” Cirksena said.

Cirksena said she believes the horses are getting fed properly, but aren’t getting the medical attention they need.

“It makes me mad,” Cirksena said. “That’s why I’m trying to get them help.”

It’s not just those helping out at the farm that are concerned for the horses.

“They’re not taken care of,” a neighbor, who asked Local 5 to not identify her, said. “I see them cut up all the time. I’m not a huge animal lover myself, but I don’t like to see them suffering. If you can’t afford to pay for 75+ horses, then you shouldn’t have 75+ horses. It’s really frustrating to me to see her continue to increase the herd when she can’t take care of them.”

That neighbor also said the horses get loose often as well.

“I call the sheriff’s department anytime they’re in my yard or they’re out on the road,” the neighbor said. “I keep calling because they tell me to keep calling, but after 4 years, nothing is happening. It feels like a lost cause, but I keep doing what I can do because it’s the only thing I can do. It’s caused damage to our property; I know it’s caused damage to other people’s property.”

Tom Colvin, CEO of the Animal Rescue League of Iowa, said in a statement:

“We have heard some really concerning reports about horses on this property and have shared those with the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department. Like in all animal cases, the ARL stands ready and willing to assist law enforcement to provide resources to remove horses from situations of suffering.”

Tom Colvin
CEO, Animal Rescue League of Iowa

Dallas County Sheriff Chad Leonard said in a text message to Local 5’s Rachel Droze Thursday:

“We’ve been working with the County Attorney on a solution to the issue up north. We will not be able to do a story at this time.”

Dallas County Sheriff Chad Leonard

Local 5 called the horses’ owner Thursday, but as of 6:30 p.m., we’re still waiting to hear back.