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'I didn't realize there were that many': Animals found starving, dead in Sheboygan home

Posted at 10:19 AM, Apr 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-01 11:19:03-04

A Sheboygan man and woman have been charged with three counts of mistreatment of animals after numerous dead and starving animals were found in their home.

The Sheboygan County Sheriff's Department found close to a dozen animals dead in their cages and others without food and water.

The sheriff's department was initially called to the home of Lisa and Jerome Doornek in the Town of Herman in November by neighbors after complaints of a pony in poor condition. When responding to that call, a deputy found that the pony's hooves were extremely overgrown and had a "Turkish slipper" appearance.

After a previous follow-up, the deputy returned to the property Tuesday and found conditions to be significantly worse than her first visit. The deputy witnessed two ducks found dead in the corner of a shed, five to seven dead chickens in the basement, several dead and partially eaten baby rabbits and two other dead rabbits.

More than 40 other animals were found on the property including goats, a turkey, geese, chickens, quails, a parrot, a parakeet, five dogs, between 12 and 15 cats, a dozen chicks and rabbits.

Deputies say the upper and lower levels of the home were covered in molded animal food as well as animal waste.

While officers were searching the home, Lisa returned home and told officers "she thought they were doing better."

When told that a number of animals were abnormally thin, Jerome felt that "he had been overfeeding them."

"I didn't realize there were that many," he told the deputy when she listed some of the dead animals found.

If convicted, the two face up to a $10,000 fine and/or 3.5 years in prison.