Animals Rescued From 'Hellhole'

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By Joe Foreman, Editor

The Mills County Attorney and Mills County Sheriff’s Office are continuing an investigation to determine if charges will be filed after animal rescue workers seized 13 dogs and a pair of cats from a urine, feces and maggot-invested mobile home in Pony Creek July 15.
    Genea Stoops of Mills County-based Hooves and Paws Rescue said a search warrant was obtained to remove the animals from Merlin Pedersen’s mobile home at 55194 Fallow Road near Pony Creek in western Mills County. She described the animals’ living conditions inside the trailer as “deplorable.”
    Volunteers from Hooves and Paws and Pottawattamie County Animal Control assisted in the rescue.
    Pedersen was not residing in the trailer with the dogs and cats, but claims to have been delivering food and water to the animals on a daily basis from a friend’s residence he’s living at in Omaha. He also said he had left two air conditioners running in the trailer, but when rescue volunteers kicked in the door of the trailer to rescue the animals, the temperature was 93 degrees inside the structure.
    Stoops said she has submitted a report to the county attorney’s office and wants charges to be filed against Pedersen.
    “The dogs were left in a hellhole,” Stoops said. “He should pay the consequences, no matter his condition.
    “My goal is to charge him with neglect and abandonment of these animals. If we start charging people, I think it will start slowing this kind of thing down."
    Stoops said most of the animals taken from the trailer are in "bad condition." They're being cared for at an undisclosed location.