Nearly 200 dogs rescued from hoarding conditions in western Illinois


SHERRARD, Ill. (KLJB/WGN) — In what officials called ‘one of the biggest animal hoarding cases ever discovered in Illinois,’ authorities rescued nearly 200 dogs from a western Illinois home over the weekend.

Nexstar-affiliate KLJB-TV reports that Mercer County Sheriff’s deputies and animal control officers went to a property in Sherrard and discovered dogs living in unsanitary, crowded conditions.

“A lot of matted coats, a lot of fecal matter, a lot of very, very skinny dogs,” Amber Stephenson, a volunteer from New Beginnings Pet Rescue of the Quad Cities, told KLJB-TV. “I don’t think I’ll ever forget the smell. It was horrible. Absolutely horrible.”

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Officials said the dogs’ owner left them fecal matter. Officials add that most of the canines were also malnourished.

Officers arrested Karen Plambeck, a 59-year-old woman with a history of animal cruelty. She faces three counts of aggravated animal cruelty.

Court documents show prosecutors charged Plambeck in 2019 for a similar offense.

Neighbors say the dog situation has been a problem for several years, saying they didn’t know how worse the issue progressed.

“When I heard there was 200, I mean, I fell out of my Ranger,” said Steven Foster. “I’m like, ‘I knew there was a lot of dogs, but I didn’t know there was that many.’”

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Rehoming efforts are underway for the rescued dogs.


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