Police: Woman charged with animal cruelty had nearly 200 dogs on property

Published: Aug. 15, 2022 at 4:52 PM CDT
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MERCER COUNTY, Ill. (KWQC/Gray News) - An Illinois woman was arrested Friday after deputies say nearly 200 dogs were found on her property.

Police arrested 59-year-old Karen A. Plambeck Friday on three counts of aggravated cruelty to animals, a Class 4 felony punishable by one to three years in prison, according to KWQC.

The bond on the warrant was set at $25,000.

According to a media release from the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office, Mercer County Animal Control began an investigation into an animal welfare complaint at Plambeck’s home Friday.

Investigators searched a property and recovered 198 dogs, according to the release.

One count of the three-count information filed alleges Plambeck allowed a dog to live in filthy conditions with mange and maggots that caused the death of the animal.

“The resources required for such an investigation are immense,” according to the release from the sheriff’s office. “Mercer County Animal Control is focusing all of their resources and time to care for and find places to accept and care for these dogs. Mercer County Animal Control will release additional information when the time allows, please be patient.”

“Numerous” licensed pet rescues in the region and many other volunteers are continuing to assist, according to the release.

The sheriff’s office added that although resources are “desperately needed,” animal control is not asking for public volunteers at this point.

The investigation is ongoing.

The sheriff’s office said that anyone that wishes to make monetary donations to help offset costs can be mailed directly to Mercer County Animal Control, P.O. Box 188, Aledo, IL 61231.

In October 2019, Plambeck was charged in Mercer County with cruel treatment of animals and four counts of unlawful inhuman care for animals, all misdemeanors.

According to court documents, she allowed a halter to remain on a 2-year-old paint mare so long that the halter was embedded causing a necrotic area on the bridge of the horse’s nose.

She also failed to provide a sufficient quantity of good quality, wholesome food to the same horse and several others, according to court documents.

Plambeck was later charged with disorderly conduct, also a misdemeanor, for breaching the peace by allowing her dogs to bark for hours on end, according to court documents.

Court records show she pleaded guilty on May 2 to the disorderly conduct charge and was sentenced to 24 months of court supervision. As part of her plea, she agreed to allow the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Illinois Department of Agriculture or animal control to come onsite to check on the status of the animals, according to court documents.

Prosecutors dismissed the remaining charges against her, court records show.

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