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Local

Stories of the Year: Traveling zoo owner charged with cruelty, neglect

Stacy Fiebelkorn (far left) confers with her attorney, Alexis Costello, during an appearance before Kane County Associate Judge Elizabeth Flood at the Kane County Branch Court in St. Charles regarding a ruling on a gag order sought by Fiebelkorn's attorney to stop comments outside of court by county officials. Fiebelkorn has been charged with animal cruelty and neglect, two misdemeanor charges which are still pending.
Stacy Fiebelkorn (far left) confers with her attorney, Alexis Costello, during an appearance before Kane County Associate Judge Elizabeth Flood at the Kane County Branch Court in St. Charles regarding a ruling on a gag order sought by Fiebelkorn's attorney to stop comments outside of court by county officials. Fiebelkorn has been charged with animal cruelty and neglect, two misdemeanor charges which are still pending.

In March, Kane County Sheriff’s deputies and Kane County Animal Control officials responded to a report that animals in a traveling zoo were being mistreated.

Stacy Fiebelkorn, an Elgin resident, was charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty and neglect in connection with the 94 animals in her Mini Zoo Crew, including 11 animals and a fetus that were found dead.

Surviving animals were found sick and starving and in need of not only food and water, but medical attention, officials said. Most of the animals were on a farm in Hampshire Township, but a dead mare and fetus were found in Maple Park.

Fiebelkorn’s animals included horses, mini-horses and donkeys, alpacas, llamas, goats, chickens and rabbits. The animals were impounded, and a group of volunteers moved them from the Hampshire farm to other locations for care and treatment.

Although she initially fought to get her animals returned, Fiebelkorn eventually agreed to give them up.

Volunteers took over the animals’ feeding and care. Though some died or were euthanized because of their condition, eventually all survivors were adopted out to new homes.

Fiebelkorn’s attorney has sought a plea deal with prosecutors. Her next court appearance is scheduled for Monday.

– Brenda Schory

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