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Labounty does not appeal forfeiture decision

Published: Wednesday, April 30, 2014 3:49 p.m. CST • Updated: Wednesday, April 30, 2014 3:51 p.m. CST

ARLINGTON — The Arlington man whose animals were impounded earlier this year by the Bureau County Animal Control office has not appealed a judge’s decision to have the animals forfeited from his care.

On Monday, First Assistant State’s Attorney Anthony Sciuto said the appeal period has expired and animal owner Dan Labounty did not file an appeal against the judge’s decision reached in early March.

As reported earlier in the Bureau County Republican, 13 beagles were impounded from the Labounty property on Feb. 21 and placed in the control of the Bureau County Animal Control Officer Scott Robbins because of Labounty’s alleged lack of care of the dogs. Seven horses were also impounded but remained on the Labounty property under the care of the county, also due to Labounty’s alleged lack of care of the animals.

Labounty did appeal the county’s February action to the Illinois Department of Agriculture, which resulted in a hearing in Springfield and the judge’s decision to leave the animals in the control of the county through the appeals process time.

Sciuto said the dogs have been given to the Beagle Rescue organization, based out of Waukegan, for placement. The horses went to a private farm in Grundy County, with a person who takes in abused animals for care. The horses will be broken for riding and then sold to either private people or riding stables, Sciuto said.

On Tuesday, Robbins said he believes this was a good outcome and the animals have gone to good places.

As far as any expense to the county for its care of the impounded animals, Robbins said the dog feed was donated and the hay for the horses was provided as well. The county’s expense would have been for veterinarian care for the animals.

The county did not receive any money for the animals when they were taken elsewhere, but, without any registration papers for the animals, the value of the animals was not there, Robbins said. Labounty was not willing, nor required, to provide registration papers, if he had them. The county was not looking to get money for the animals, but to make sure they received the proper care, Robbins said.

This Arlington experience has been a good learning experience, Robbins said. He thinks the county could receive more calls in the future from people who may be concerned about the care of animals, he said.

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