Clinton woman charged for animal neglect after one dog found dead and eight dogs rescued

Update:

Officers from the Clinton Police Department charged Teresa Muhs with nine counts of animal neglect Friday, February 23.

According to the department, Muhs is the owner of some of the 9 pit bulls found, covered in feces and blood on the northern part of the city.

This incident is still under investigation, and additional charges are pending.

Original Story:

CLINTON, Iowa -Rescuers spent hours rounding up "shaking, screeching, crying" bloody pit bulls on February 21 after a reported dog fight turned deadly.

Police say they responded to a home on 4th Avenue North just after 7:15 p.m. on Wednesday, February 21. They say the humane society requested help after a homeowner allowed rescuers into a house to remove dogs.

Animals Rescued:

One pit bull was found dead in a trash can, eight others taken into the arms of community members ready to help take them to safety.

"I hope I never (have to see this) again, it was very, very heart-breaking. Absolutely heart-breaking," said Jennifer Gerdes, Operations Manager of the Clinton Humane Society.

In a press release, police said the homeowner claimed to have called for help when the dogs started fighting because they were unable to control the dogs.

Police said the homeowner claims one dog killed another dog.

Upon entering the home, police say there was no heat, no water, and no power.

"The conditions that those dogs were living in were pretty deplorable," said Gerdes. She said there was feces and that most of the dogs were covered in blood.

A local animal rescuer, Shai Lemke, who arrived on the scene shortly after police, said that she could hear dogs screeching, screaming and crying as she walked up to the house.

Lemke said about five or six rescuers spent about two hours rounding up bloody and scared pit bulls.

"It was a very slow process, it took a long time," said Lemke. "These dogs have probably never seen the light of day. They were scared."

Gerdes said the animals were in shock. "They weren't aggressive with us at all, they were very defeated."

She said the look on the dog's faces showed their appreciation. "They were very saddened and thankful that someone had found them and was on the mission to make them safe."

The incident remains under investigation by the Clinton Police Department and police say charges are pending in the case. In the meantime, these dogs need medical attention, and have a community ready to take action.

Taking Action:

A local vet has started to give medical treatment to the hurt dogs in Clinton, Iowa. (Photo: Shai Lemke)

"I just know these dogs need a lot of help," said Jill Hayton of Clinton, Iowa. She dropped off donations at the Clinton Humane Society on Friday, February 23, and said that the thought of the way these animals were treated left her "mortified."

"I just cant believe someone would treat an animal that way, yet alone several animals," said Hayton.

Gerdes said the dogs are "alive and so far doing well, getting the treatment that they need."

Most of the dogs have substantial injuries, and a local vet has started to treat them. The shelter is now asking for monetary donations to help with the cost of treatment and medications.

The shelter says donations of food and toys are also always appreciated.

"We are taking great care of them, they are learning to trust us. They are starting to wag their tails, which is great news. They have all been bathed, they’re all safe, they’re warm, they’re dry, they’re fed."