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updated: 3/8/2014 9:10 AM

Hampshire-area petting zoo loses license; 2 more dead goats found

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  • Kane County Animal Control Director Robert Sauceda pets a pregnant donkey Wednesday on a Hampshire farm, as animal control Warden Brianna Leland feeds hay to ponies and horses in one of the fields. Animal Control took over care of the animals Tuesday.

       Kane County Animal Control Director Robert Sauceda pets a pregnant donkey Wednesday on a Hampshire farm, as animal control Warden Brianna Leland feeds hay to ponies and horses in one of the fields. Animal Control took over care of the animals Tuesday.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • One of the thinner horses feeds on hay Wednesday at a Hampshire farm where several dead animals were discovered by Kane County authorities earlier this week. The animals' owner has been charged with animal cruelty and failure to provide adequate care.

       One of the thinner horses feeds on hay Wednesday at a Hampshire farm where several dead animals were discovered by Kane County authorities earlier this week. The animals' owner has been charged with animal cruelty and failure to provide adequate care.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Stacy Fiebelkorn of Elgin has been charged with animal cruelty and failure to provide adequate care.

      Stacy Fiebelkorn of Elgin has been charged with animal cruelty and failure to provide adequate care.

 
 

Two more dead goats were found Friday on the Hampshire-area farm where eight other animals were found dead earlier this week.

Kane County Animal Control Director Robert Sauceda said the two animals were found in a 12-inch pile of straw, feces and urine.

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"It's a mess," he said Friday.

The animals' owner, Stacy Fiebelkorn of Elgin, was charged Tuesday with cruelty to animals and failure to provide adequate food, shelter and care to prevent suffering, after Kane County authorities found a dead donkey, a dead goat, two dead miniature horses and four dead chickens on the Hampshire property, and a dead horse and horse fetus on a farm near Maple Park.

Thursday, her federal zoo-keeping license was revoked.

Offers to help take care of the surviving animals on the farm are pouring in to animal control.

"People are stepping up and helping any way they can," Sauceda said. People have donated food and hay, and are offering to adopt the animals.

About 94 animals -- including horses, turkeys, chickens, rabbits, goats, an alpaca and a llama -- were impounded Tuesday in Hampshire. The animals were still under quarantine Friday, so only county animal control workers were being allowed to take care of them until the results of disease tests are known.

Once that quarantine is lifted, Batavia-based Field of Dreams Horse Rescue and Adoption is ready to help provide food and find homes for the horses. Jody Zyck, the group's vice president, has been working the phones and Facebook all week, after Sauceda asked for the group's help. Sauceda said there are two donkeys, three horses and 16 miniature horses.

Field of Dreams has helped place mistreated horses before. "But not to this extent," Zyck said.

No court date has been set on the misdemeanor charges Fiebelkorn faces.

She has until Tuesday to appeal to state veterinarian Mark Ernst's impoundment order. If she does appeal the order, an administrative law judge will convene a hearing within five days to determine if the animals should be taken away.

"Usually we try to work with owners" to correct violations, Ernst said.

Fiebelkorn and Sandra Fiebelkorn own the Mini Crew Petting Zoo, based out of Hampshire.

Its federal license was canceled Thursday, according to a spokesman for the Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services.

The zoo obtained a license in early 2012. But a federal agriculture inspector found violations of animal care regulations on visits to the site Aug. 20, 2012; June 3, 2013; Aug. 26, 2013; and Nov. 27, 2013. Four times in 2012 and 2013 the inspector visited the site but was unable to do an inspection, because no responsible adult was there to accompany him or provide zoo records.

Violations noted included a hole in the goat-enclosure fence, with sharp metal edges; a 20-by-4-foot puddle of standing green water in the goat enclosure; thick mud through which llamas, alpacas and calves had to walk to get to a watering trough; excessive feces in barn stalls; a broken door to the goat enclosure; gaps in the goat pasture fence; excessive feces "in no fewer than" five rabbit cages, including two where the pile took up a quarter of the cage space; excessive feces in the stalls and shelter for a llama, goats and an alpaca; and broken fencing, with sharp metal points, on the fencing for an enclosure for a llama and two calves.

The Aug. 20, 2012, report noted the presence of "large piles of unused items, debris, soiled straw and manure" on the west side of an animal barn, including scrap wood "riddled" with rusty nails and a pile of straw and manure 12 by 10 by 3 feet. That inspection also noted that in the goat pasture there were 20 unused boards with nails protruding.

The federal reports show the zoo started with 16 goats, one llama, two pigs, two European rabbits and one sheep. During some inspections, there were cottontail rabbits, cows or oxen, and calves. None of the reports mention horses or donkeys or poultry; the federal law considers them to be agricultural animals and doesn't cover them, spokesman Tanya Espinoza said.

The business' website Friday was cleared of information and said only that the website was under construction. Stacy Fiebelkorn has not returned calls for comment.

Kane County sheriff's Lt. Pat Gengler said the investigation is ongoing and that nobody else has been charged.

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