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Children to return to Borup couple

David and Vicki Ginger won their children back Monday but lost ownership of dozens of animals. The couple's three children, ages 12, 10 and 8, were placed in shelter care two weeks ago after authorities found animal feces and garbage strewn about...

David and Vicki Ginger won their children back Monday but lost ownership of dozens of animals.

The couple's three children, ages 12, 10 and 8, were placed in shelter care two weeks ago after authorities found animal feces and garbage strewn about the family's rural Borup, Minn., home.

At a hearing Monday morning, Clay County District Court Judge William Walker ordered the children be returned to their home on the recommendation of Clay County Attorney Lisa Borgen.

Borgen said the Gingers have worked hard to clean up the home and have agreed to work with county officials to make sure the children receive adequate care.

Vicki Ginger told the court she fell behind in taking care of the house because of stress from her father's recent death and the loss of her job last fall.

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She said she has thoroughly cleaned the entire residence. "Closets, everything," she said. "The house is ready for the kids."

After acknowledging that their children were in need of protective services, the Gingers were ordered to comply with a number of social services recommendations, including participation in parent skills training.

At the time the children were placed in shelter care, sheriff's deputies also seized dozens of animals from the family's farm, including 20 horses, six head of cattle and about 30 pigs.

Two pigs were found to be in poor health and were destroyed.

At a hearing Monday afternoon, Judge Kathleen Weir said she did not believe the Gingers were in a position to care for the surviving animals and she gave the county authority over the livestock.

County officials plan to sell the animals Saturday during an auction sale at Winger, Minn.

Assistant Clay County Attorney Michelle Winkis said she hopes anyone interested in giving one or more of the animals a good home will make it to the auction.

She said it would be too time consuming and costly for the county to keep the animals while officials try to find people to adopt them.

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Caring for the animals is costing the county $246 a day. The total bill is expected to reach $7,924, which by law the Gingers are responsible for paying.

Winkis said the county hopes money received from the sale will cover most of the bill.

Before Weir issued her ruling, she heard from Vicki Ginger, who testified she and her husband acquired the horses over the course of the winter. She said the animals came to them in very poor condition.

Following the hearing, the couple's attorney, Daniel Westerman, said the Gingers had planned to nurse the horses back to health and then sell them.

"It was a risk that they took," he said. "They genuinely do care for the animals."

Westerman said his clients were thrilled to get their children back and he said they planned to work with the county to keep them home.

A number of charges remain pending against the Gingers.

Both David and Vicki Ginger were charged last week with child endangerment and neglect.

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David Ginger was also charged with other counts ranging from mistreatment of animals to improper disposal of animal carcasses.

He was earlier charged with threatening three of his neighbors and a sheriff's deputy.

I'm a reporter and a photographer and sometimes I create videos to go with my stories.

I graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead and in my time with The Forum I have covered a number of beats, from cops and courts to business and education.

I've also written about UFOs, ghosts, dinosaur bones and the planet Pluto.

You may reach me by phone at 701-241-5555, or by email at dolson@forumcomm.com
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