Wapello County Sheriff’s Office Rescues Over 20 Animals, 3 People Arrested


The Wapello County Sheriff’s Office says it arrested three individuals after animals were found living in “deplorable” conditions.

35-year-old Amanda Semans (left), 62-year-old Gordon Riley (center), and 54-year-old Connie Woten each face one count of animal neglect with serious injury or death, an aggravated misdemeanor, and five counts of animal neglect with no serious injury or death, a simple misdemeanor.

On May 1, the sheriff’s office executed a warrant for a property located on the 4000 block of Wapello-Jefferson Road. With the help of volunteers, deputies were able to rescue nine dogs, two goats, one land tortoise, two cats, six chickens, and one bearded dragon.

According to officials, one horse was found in such a dilapidated state, it had to be humanely euthanized at the scene. The decomposing carcass of another horse was found in a trash pile near the residence.

Semans, Riley, and Woten were transported to the Wapello County Jail. All three suspects are currently free after posting bond.

The Wapello County Sheriff’s Office extended a special thank you to Veterinarian Kylee Thomas, the Ottumwa Police Department, Eastview Animal Clinic, Pam Evans, The City of Eldon, and the Iowa Animal Rescue League for their respective roles in the rescue.

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