Judge Powers denies Lindgren motion

Judge Michael Powers denied a motion Friday to drop 14 charges of cruelty to animals down to one count of cruelty to animals against Karole Lindgren.

About 144 Australian Shepherd dogs, 80 head of horses and 10 head of cattle were removed from the Lindgren home west of Marion in March when county and state law enforcement officers and Kansas Animal Health Department officials conducted a kennel inspection and found animals dead, sick or injured and some living in unhealthy conditions.

Several charges, including criminal and civil, were brought against members of the Lindgren family.

The motion to dismiss animal-cruelty charges was made by defense attorney John Johnson.

He questioned whether Kansas laws were followed about notifying the Lindgrens of the location of their animals after they were removed from their property.

“Nobody has told the Lindgrens or their lawyers where the animals are,” Johnson said.

If the animals could be found and examined, he said, it could be shown they weren’t hungry or thirsty.

“These animals were just spirited away from us,” Johnson said.

County Attorney Susan Robson told Powers that after the good care the animals have received over the last several weeks, it would be difficult to determine the condition the animals were in when they were seized.

“To dismiss these charges because they can’t see the animals is not doing justice,” Robson said.

In explaining his decision, Powers said this was the first request he had received for anyone to see the animals, and that he would allow the Lindgrens to see their animals based on the schedule and requirements of the state.

Robson also asked Powers if the trial date could be set as soon as possible because of the cost of the animal care to county taxpayers.

Caring for the horses through June was reported to cost Marion County $28,445.24. That figure does not include recent veterinary care on the horses’ hooves and worming medication.

Powers said civil rights were involved in this matter and “justice cannot be bought.” The trial and proceedings would be handled in proper order.

After a short discussion, a pretrial hearing was set for 9 a.m. July 25.

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