COUNCIL BLUFFS, IOWA (KMTV) — Dustin Young got 30 days behind bars and it could be up to years if he violates his probation. but victims weren't happy, especially because Young is allowed work release, giving him the chance to leave jail for a time for most of his stint.
"This tragedy could have been avoided, had you used good judgment," says Judge Scott Strait.
Judge Strait said he considered giving Dustin Young the max of nearly three years in jail for abandoning dogs at his kennel in rural western Iowa. But he said if that sentence was handed down, Young likely couldn't pay restitution.
"I don't want restitution, I don't want money, I want my dogs back but I can't get that now,” says victim Dani Allison.
County sheriff Jeff Danker said in a press release back in May, dozens of dogs were recovered at the property severely malnourished, four more were found dead. Others were never located.
"There's still 19 dogs missing, that have not even been addressed in this whole thing," says Shell Hodgsen, who’s dog was ultimately recovered from Young’s property.
Dani Allison trusted young to train her dog Duke to hunt. Instead, Duke was one of the dogs that died under Young's care.
"No justice, no apology, no remorse at all. He doesn't care what he did, he just got a slap on the wrist saying we'll give you another try,” says Allison.
The 30 days in jail Young received includes a suspended 23 month sentence if Young violates the terms of his probation over the next two years. Part of that is over $4,800 worth of restitution.
"It might be cold comfort I think for some folks, but it's something," says County Attorney Matt Wilber.
Young will also be allowed to come and go from jail during that time, so he can work to pay his victims.
County Attorney Matt Wilber wishes the sentence was stronger. But, he said there was a chance Young would have gotten no time behind bars.
"I'm going to take it as a win, I;m not going to say it's great win, I don't feel like it's a giant victory in court, but I'm pretty happy we were able to at least get some jail time out of it.,” says Wilber.
Last spring 3 News Now reported some of the dog owners were considering a class action lawsuit against Young. several said today in the courthouse, that is still very much a possibility.