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Judge to rule on fate of Arlington animals

ARLINGTON/SPRINGFIELD — The outcome as to the future care of 13 Bureau County dogs and seven horses is now in the hands of the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

After a three-hour hearing on Wednesday in Springfield, the Illinois Department of Agriculture judge has a five-day period in which to make his decision.

Wednesday’s hearing stems from a recent investigation into the care of animals owned by Dan Labounty of rural Arlington. At that time, there were thought to be about 20 beagles and seven horses on the property.

Bureau County Animal Control Officer Scott Robbins has removed 13 beagles from the Labounty property, and those dogs remain under the county’s care. The horses remain on the rural Arlington property with the county overseeing their care.

On Thursday, Robbins said he was one of seven people who testified at Wednesday’s hearing. Also testifying were an investigator with the Illinois Department of Agriculture whom Robbins had called to the rural Arlington site, Labounty, and four representatives of Illinois Valley Animal Rescue.

In addition, the Illinois Department of Agriculture also had its attorney present as well as the state’s veterinarian.

The hearing went well, Robbins said. The judge heard all parties speak and has five days to make a decision, he said.

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