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Local

Animal remains to be removed from Maple Park veterinary office

Sheriff says no charges expected after days-long investigation

MAPLE PARK – Live animals have been relocated, and plans are in place to remove dead animals found in freezers and labeled a biohazard at Wingate Animal Clinic during a DeKalb County Sheriff's Office investigation, police said Wednesday.

"The veterinarian and representatives have been cooperative with us," Sheriff Roger Scott said. "They are taking steps to dispose of the animals through the proper methods."

Signs posted on a window Tuesday said the clinic, 17850 Maple Park Road, is not taking appointments because Dr. Margaret Rogers is participating in a specialty intern program at the Animal Medical Center in New York City.

The signs were down Wednesday, and furniture was being moved out. The clinic's phone number has been disconnected, and its Facebook page was taken down Tuesday afternoon.

Police responded to a call Saturday that an overhead door had been left open at the clinic, 17850 Maple Park Road. There were no apparent signs of a break-in, Scott said.

The DeKalb County Health Department was called to assist in the investigation and determined that two horses outside in a small pasture next to the clinic, as well as two goats inside, were being properly cared for.

Scott said friends of Rogers had been looking after the animals on site and have since picked them up and relocated them.

Scott said the dead animals in freezers found inside the building were mostly dogs, though he did not know how many there were or how long they had been there. Red biohazard tape and bags that were placed on the door Tuesday afternoon and had been removed by Wednesday morning.

Lisa Gonzalez, administrator of the DeKalb County Health Department, said in an email that she expects disposal of the animal remains will take place in the next few days, but the department will check with the property owner by the end of the week for a status update.

"The property owner has been cooperative during the investigation and has agreed to properly dispose of all remains on-site utilizing an appropriate vendor," Gonzalez said. "We will ensure that the disposal is conducted in a timely manner and then close out our report."

Scott said the investigation report would be sent to the state veterinary licensing and regulatory agencies, such as the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. No charges are being filed at this time, he said.

"As we gathered all the facts in this case, we are satisfied with how everything is being handled," Scott said.

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