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Animal overload

It wasn't quite 101 dalmatians, but 51 cats and dogs can create quite a mess. 

Storm Lake police were notified the afternoon of May 15 that a large number of cats and dogs were living inside a house in the 1000 block of Michigan Street.

Officers went to the house, which was occupied by three adults and a juvenile, and observed several cats and dogs, plus urine and feces on the floor. Officers also reported a strong odor from the animal waste, according to a news release from the Storm Lake Police Department.

Because of the condition of the home, the Storm Lake Public Safety Joint Lab Response Team was dispatched to the house to provide officers with protective clothing and gear and assist with officer decontamination.

Police and firefighters removed 30 dogs and 21 cats from the home and took them to Lake Animal Hospital in Storm Lake for evaluation.

Police charged Juana Munoz, 58, Veronica Lopez-Munoz, 28, and Mayra Lopez-Munoz, 22, all of Storm Lake, with one count of misdemeanor child endangerment and 15 counts of misdemeanor animal neglect. A 17-year-old juvenile male was removed from the home and placed with a relative.

The city's building office was called to the home to address the house's interior condition and to pursue red-tagging it until the conditions were improved.

Poor kitty

A former North Sioux City police officer has been charged in the shooting death of a cat in a cemetery. 

Derek McIntosh faces a class 1 misdemeanor charge of killing or injuring an animal during an incident on May 9. According to an affidavit, Police Cpt. Dustin Sharkey talked to Officer Stephanie Ryan about going to a location along Alcoma Drive to pick up a cat that was caught in a trap. Ryan told Sharkey that he "just saved the cat's life."

When Sharkey asked Ryan what she meant, she told him she'd heard rumors that McIntosh had been taking cats caught in traps at a cemetery and then shooting them.

The day before, a North Sioux City man had confronted McIntosh about a missing black-and-white cat belonging to the man and his girlfriend. McIntosh reportedly told the man that the police department sometimes placed stray cats in the cemetery.

Sharkey later spoke with Officer Andrew Ryan, who told Sharkey of a conversation he'd had with McIntosh regarding the cats. It was Ryan's impression that McIntosh had shot more than one cat. 

Sharkey and Police Chief Richard Headid went to the cemetery and found two dead cats, along with a pair of rubber gloves of the type used by the police department. 

When McIntosh reported for work that afternoon, Headid, along with Mayor Randy Fredrickson and City Administrator Ted Cherry, called a meeting with the officer. During the meeting, McIntosh maintained he had released cats at the cemetery, but denied shooting them. He did, however, admit to shooting cats in the past. 

When Cherry told McIntosh he would be placed on paid administrative leave, he told those at the meeting, "OK, I did shoot the cat." 

McIntosh was placed on paid administrative leave and subsequently dismissed. 

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