Dubuque Police and Animal Control Investigate Livestock Neglect
Contacts: Lieutenant Joe Messerich, (563) 589-4473
Assistant Chief Jeremy Jensen, (563) 589-4444
Public Health Specialist Mary Rose Corrigan, (563) 589-4184
On 12/07/19 at approximately 10:30 a.m., Dubuque Police received a report from City of Dubuque Animal Control of a possible animal neglect case at 2663 Roosevelt St.
Animal Control reported they had received several animal-related complaints associated with the property throughout the year. The owner of the animals was identified as Cesar Leonel Gonzalez, (30), of Dubuque. Animal Control visited the property on 12/03/19 to check the welfare of a donkey that Gonzalez acquired. Animal Control found the donkey was in poor condition noting concerns with the animal’s hoofs, coat, and weight.
On 12/17/19 Dubuque Police Officers/Investigators and Animal Control Officers served a search warrant for the property of 2663 Roosevelt St. to check on the welfare of the animals and to remove any sick or neglected animals from the property. Police and Animal Control Officers located twenty-seven living animals on the property. The animals consisted of horses (6), a pony, a miniature horse, a cow, goats (4), sheep (2), pigs (5), geese, chickens, a duck, and a domestic pigeon. Police and Animal Control officers found insufficient food and water available for the animals. The animals were examined by a local veterinarian and multiple animals were deemed to be in poor health. The veterinarian requested the removal of all animals from the property. Twenty-six animals were removed (one chicken could not be caught) with the assistance of the Dubuque Regional Humane Society and Iowa Equine Rescue.
Additionally, Officers located several deceased animals on the property in varying stages of decomposition. The deceased animals included: a goat, a piglet, a donkey, a pony, and multiple chickens.
Cesar Gonzalez was charged with Livestock Neglect Resulting in Death (serious misdemeanor), eight counts of Failure to Dispose of Dead Animal (simple misdemeanor), and multiple counts of Livestock Neglect (simple misdemeanor). Gonzalez was arrested on warrants for these charges on 12/27/19 at approximately 5:29 a.m.
A simple misdemeanor is punishable by imprisonment not to exceed 30 days and/or a fine not to exceed $626. A serious misdemeanor is punishable by imprisonment not to exceed 1 year and/or a fine not to exceed $1,875.
As with any criminal case, the charges filed are allegations and any suspects are presumed innocent until convicted in a court of law. If you have any information on this incident or others, please call the Dubuque Police Department at 563-589-4415 or Crime Stoppers at 800-747-0117 or 563-588-0714 (if the information leads to an arrest, the caller is eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,000). You can also submit tips anonymously online at www.cityofdubuque.org/police or through the MyDBQ smartphone app available at www.cityofdubuque.org/MyDBQ.