Horses returned to Iowa man accused of neglect

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An Iowa man, accused of keeping horses in squalor, gets his animals back because of a paperwork error.

After other residents complained, rescuers took more than 30 horses from Jeffrey Graber, 55, of Donnellson.  One horse was found dead and several more were reportedly found without proper food or shelter in January 2014.  Graber was charged with improper disposal of a dead animal and two counts of livestock neglect.

Citing a paperwork error, Lee County judge Mary Ann Brown ordered the horses returned to Graber according to KHQA-TV.   Judge Brown said the sheriff’s office committed a procedural error by serving a criminal warrant, instead of an animal rescue warrant, when the animals were seized.

As a result, Graber gets his animals returned to him.

The ruling does not, however, change the charges filed against Graber.

Graber has pleaded not guilty to the charges.  Court records show Graber’s next court date on the matter was set for April 15, 2014.  Trial was set for May 7.