A rural Madrid man was sentenced to pay a $315 fine and serve one year of probation after hundreds of living and dead cats were found at his home in May of 2019, according to court documents.
Dennis M. Carlson, 65, will be supervised by the Department of Correctional Services during his probation, according to court documents.
During the time while he is on probation he is prohibited from having, maintaining, or being responsible for any pets.
Carlson was sentenced Monday, and also ordered to make victim restitution with the amount being determined at a later date, according to court records.
If Carlson successfully completes his probation, the conviction will be expunged from his record.
Carlson pleaded guilty on Jan. 9 to animal neglect, a serious misdemeanor. Four other counts of animal neglect and three counts of failure to dispose of dead animals were dropped by the state as part of the plea agreement.
On May 28, 2019, a Polk County sheriff’s deputy responded to a “civil” matter at Carlson’s residence on NW 158th Avenue near Madrid. Upon arriving to the residence, the officer observed an “overwhelming number of cats in the house.”
When the deputy approached the residence and opened the front door, a strong odor of urine and feces was present, which prompted the deputy to contact the animal control officer.
One hundred eighty-six living cats and 194 dead cats were found at the scene during the investigation. Since then 10 cats died while receiving treatment from the Animal Rescue League in Des Moines, and 12 were euthanized.