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Petting zoo owner does not post $30K by deadline

ST. CHARLES – Petting zoo owner Stacy Fiebelkorn of Elgin missed a 4:30 p.m. deadline without putting up $30,000 as required for the care of her impounded animals, so the animals are now forfeited.

A circuit clerk official confirmed that Fiebelkorn did not post any cash by the deadline. Her attorney, Jamie Wombacher, could not be reached for comment.

Kane County Associate Judge Elizabeth Flood had set the amount to pay for the continued care and feeding of more than 90 ill and malnourished animals that were impounded by Kane County Animal Control last month.  

According to state law, an owner can be required to put up cash security to pay for animals that are under the care of animal control.

If cash is not posted within the required five days, the remaining animals would be forfeited “without further proceedings,” Flood said in her ruling.

Fiebelkorn gave up the poultry, rabbits and most of the goats from her Mini Zoo Crew traveling petting zoo. But she fought the forfeiture of the remaining 30 animals, mostly horses and donkeys.

Flood already had ruled that she had to give up her llamas and alpacas because of their starved condition. The two goats Fiebelkorn did not want to give up are not included in the security bond because the law does not consider them as companion animals, Flood ruled last week.

Kane County Animal Control is expected to file another petition by Monday for additional cash security to pay for the animals’ continuing care. 

Fiebelkorn was charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty and neglect in connection with the condition of the animals in her care. Those charges are pending and scheduled for a hearing April 17.

Also scheduled for hearing is a motion by Wombacher seeking to limit officials’ comments about the animals outside of court. The court papers assert that extensive coverage with comments would affect Fiebelkorn’s right to a fair trial.

Also still pending is a request asking the judge to let Fiebelkorn rent six or seven ponies to Donley’s Wild West Town, an amusement park in Union. Nicole Wessel, a veterinarian caring for the impounded animals at a farm near Maple Park, has said the ponies’ condition still was too weak from being starved and malnourished to give children rides.

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