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241 dogs rescued from alleged ‘puppy mill’

Published: Saturday, November 17, 2012 @ 2:37 PM
Updated: Saturday, November 17, 2012 @ 4:42 PM

Investigators shut down what they called a puppy mill Saturday, and rescued 241 dogs from the site.

Sheriff’s deputies served a search warrant at 8 a.m. at a residence owned by Dave and Rhonda Auton at 8350 Tawawa Maplewood Road. Sheriff John R. Lenhart said the Autons operate a business at that location called “Pedigree Pets.”

Deputies were joined by the Shelby County Dog Warden and veterinarian Dr. Lisa Nadasi.

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They said the animals were in very poor health, and kennel conditions were determined to be unfit for housing animals. One dog was found dead.

Lenhart said he’s never seen conditions so deplorable.

“All the animals outside, all their water was frozen. I didn’t see any food anywhere,” Nadasi told NewsCenter 7. “Every (dog) we brought in here to feed is starving.”

Lenhart said the dogs were various breeds. The dogs were removed to several undisclosed locations to be checked out medically and housed.

The warrant was the culmination of a six month investigation prompted by citizen complaints. The Dog Warden is preparing charges against the couple, which will likely include multiple counts of animal cruelty.

NewsCenter 7’s Steve Baker was there when the dogs were taken from the home this morning. He’ll have a full report tonight at 7:30 p.m. Stay with whiotv.com for more on this developing story.