ARLINGTON — A hearing will be held Wednesday in Springfield to determine what happens with 13 beagle dogs and seven horses in eastern Bureau County.
On Monday, First Assistant Bureau County State’s Attorney Tony Sciuto said Wednesday’s hearing will be heard by members of the Illinois Department of Agriculture, who will determine whether or not the animals in question will be forfeited from the care of their owner, Dan Labounty of rural Arlington.
As reported earlier in the Bureau County Republican, Labounty was notified last week about alleged violations of Illinois Humane Care for Animals Act, for alleged lack of proper care of the animals on his properly, estimated at that time to be about 20 beagles and seven horses.
Sciuto said the Bureau County Animal Control Officer Scott Robbins removed 13 beagles from the Labounty property, and those dogs are under the county’s care. Arrangements have been made to care for the seven horses remaining on the rural Arlington property.
Sciuto said he will meet today, Tuesday, with Robbins in preparation for Wednesday’s hearing. Robbins will attend the hearing and request the animals be forfeited from Labounty’s care, Sciuto said.
The county will present its concern that Labounty is physically not capable of caring for the animals, Sciuto said.
At Wednesday’s hearing, members of the Department of Agriculture will listen to evidence from both sides of the issue, Sciuto said. The Department of Agriculture has the option of forfeiting the animals to the state or releasing them back to the owner. Whatever the state decides, the county will have to live with it, and so will Mr. Labounty, Sciuto said.
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