Thursday, June 21, 2007

Reward Offered for Tips on Hog Dumper

A reward of $1,000 is being offered for information leading to the individual who dumped dead hogs in the Raccoon River.

Iowa Independent reported on Monday that the decomposed carcasses of 31 hogs were found dumped in the river near Haage Park in Sac City. Iowa Department of Natural Resources specialist Tom Roos said in a telephone interview with Iowa Independent that people who were boating in the river discovered the hogs on Sunday.

The boaters initially reported seeing about 50 hogs in the river. When DNR officials investigated the scene, 31 decomposed hogs were found. The hogs were relatively young. "They were 20- to 30-pounders," said Roos.

The DNR is continuing to investigate and has collected some leads. "We've got a few pieces of information from the public so far," said Roos.

The DNR announced Thursday that the Sac County Pork Producers Association and the Sac County Farm Bureau are jointly offering the reward for information. Sac County pork producer Pete Houska initiated the effort, as announced in a DNR press release.

Houska lives near the area where the dead pigs were found and was one of the first farmers to be contacted by the Iowa DNR. “It really did upset me that someone would do something like this,” Houska said in the DNR announcement. “It’s uncalled for and will not be tolerated. We need to be the front-runners in coordinating the efforts to find the responsible person, so we’ve offered a little incentive to get people to talk about if they know something,” he added.

Anyone with information about the dumping should call the Sac County sheriff's office at (712) 662-7127 or the Spencer DNR office at (712) 262-4177.

As noted in the DNR announcement, the individuals found responsible for dumping the hogs could face criminal charges for littering or improper disposal of dead animals, as well as civil penalties for improper disposal of solid waste.

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