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updated: 3/20/2014 4:43 AM

Elgin woman facing cruelty charges gives up some animals

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  • Stacy Fiebelkorn

      Stacy Fiebelkorn

  • One of the thinner horses feeds on hay at a Hampshire farm March 5. The horse's owner has been charged with animal cruelty and neglect after Kane County Animal Control authors discovered several dead animals, including a pony, horse fetus, donkey, goats and chickens, at the farm and another site in Maple Park.

       One of the thinner horses feeds on hay at a Hampshire farm March 5. The horse's owner has been charged with animal cruelty and neglect after Kane County Animal Control authors discovered several dead animals, including a pony, horse fetus, donkey, goats and chickens, at the farm and another site in Maple Park.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer, March 2014

 
 

The Elgin woman charged with animal cruelty and neglect volunteered on Wednesday to relinquish ownership of her poultry, rabbits, most of her goats, an alpaca and a llama.

But Stacy Fiebelkorn is fighting Kane County's efforts to impound the rest of the goats, another alpaca and llama and several dozen horses.

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Fiebelkorn's attorney, Jamie Wombacher, also has asked Kane County Associate Judge Elizabeth Flood to bar prosecutors, investigators, witnesses and animal control workers from speaking to the public about the case while it is being adjudicated.

According to Wombacher's motion, statements made by Animal Control Director Robert Sauceda and Kane County sheriff's spokesman Lt. Patrick Gengler "contain factual misstatements and assumptions that pose a serious and imminent threat of heightening public condemnation of the defendant." The motion also said Sauceda spoke to potential witnesses after Fiebelkorn's first court date; such statements would jeopardize Fiebelkorn's right to a fair trial, Wombacher argued.

Flood refused an immediate ban on talking about the case and will hear arguments on the motion April 17.

Fiebelkorn faces misdemeanor charges of animal cruelty and failure to provide adequate food, water and care. Sauceda, Deputy Susan Deuchler and private veterinarian Katie Lukas testified to the conditions of the animals they found in late February and early March on two properties Fiebelkorn rented: one in Maple Park and the other in Hampshire.

Dead animals, including horses, donkeys, poultry and goats were found on the properties.

Some new details emerged during Wednesday's hearing, such as a dead donkey and dead goat were found frozen to a loader bucket on a snow-covered tractor, and that an animal control warden tried to break frozen water in troughs with a sledgehammer but couldn't. Sauceda admitted he does not have any training relating to farm animals. He also testified that several goats in the barn belonged to another person, and that even though their stall had excessive feces and no water, only a notice of violation was issued because the owner immediately began cleaning the stall. Also, Fiebelkorn had 800 pounds of hay delivered to the Hampshire barn by March 3, but Lukas said more than 80 percent of it was moldy.

The Kane County state's attorney's office asked Flood last week to order Fiebelkorn to post security of at least $36,000, the amount needed to care for the animals for the first month they are in the county's custody. Flood has not yet ruled on that.

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