By John Speer
A Traer couple who operate an animal safe haven each pled guilty to a charge of failure to properly dispose of dead animals within 24 hours in Tama County Magistrate Court last week.
Michael Alan Freeman 31, and Janet Marie Freeman, 25, were both fined $148 by Tama County Magistrate Ann Kuhter.
Tama County Sheriff Dennis Kucera filed the charges after he found five dead horses at I'm Your Angel Animal Rescue, located on the outskirts of Traer at 220 Berlin Ave. The sheriff lives nearby.
He wrote in a narrative for the case, he had been checking with the Freemans and they claimed to have called a rendering truck. When he checked the Freemans' property on March 8, court records state Kucera found a dead horse in a shed, a dead horse covered up in the back yard and three dead horses covered up in the back of a pickup truck used as a family vehicle.
The sheriff said the freemans had been "deceptive about disposing" of the dead horses to him.
The horses were believed to have died over the period of Jan. 31-Feb. 17.
Arrangements were made by authorities to properly dispose of the carcasses.