The Ottumwa Courier

February 28, 2014

Arrest in animal hoarding case

By MARK NEWMAN
Courier staff writer

---- — DRAKESVILLE — A man accused of neglecting a hoard of 300 animals in his care has been charged.

The Davis County Sheriff's Office has arrested Roger Alan Blew, 45, of Drakesville, one week after a multi-agency search was made of his home. Authorities called their rescue operation one of the worst cases of hoarding they'd seen in Iowa.

The arrest comes after an investigation and search warrant execution which discovered almost 300 animals, some in various states of neglect. There were also 60 which, in some cases, may have been neglected to death. The deceased animals were found in the house and on other parts of the property. Live and dead animals were housed together.

Blew faces charges from two separate agencies. He has been charged by Sheriff Dave Davis with 28 counts of animal neglect as well as "duty to dispose of dead bodies." Eight of the charges are serious misdemeanors, which could carry up to one year in jail each. The other Davis County charges are simple misdemeanors, which each carry up to 30 days in jail.

Blew also faces charges from officers of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. These additional 10 charges, all simple misdemeanors, include not having a valid game breeder license, failure to file annual game breeder report (2013) and game breeder records violations.

Bail has been set at $1,000 cash-only bond, meaning the defendant would have to pay the entire amount to gain release.

It is too soon to know whether Blew will bond out. As of about 10 a.m. Friday, deputies were at the courthouse with Blew after his arrest.

— News reporter Mark Newman is on Twitter @couriermark