255 dogs and puppies seized from dog breeding operations in Ford - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

255 dogs and puppies seized from dog breeding operations in Ford, Suncrest

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STEVENS COUNTY, Wash. -

The Stevens County Sheriff's Office reports that on Tuesday they served two search warrants simultaneously in Southern Stevens County as part of an investigation into illegal dog breeding operations. One operation was in Ford and the other was in the Suncrest area of Nine Mile Falls.

During the service of the search warrants members of SCRAPS and local veterinarians were on scene to help contain, catalog and examine the animals.

At the Ford location, investigators found 89 dogs and puppies in various conditions. One puppy was near death. Investigators also found a dead dog on the property. The dogs were living in filth and investigators had to wear hazmat suits while processing the scene. The dogs were being kept with in a 10 foot by 60 foot mobile home occupied by two people.

At the Suncrest location, 166 dogs were found living in filthy conditions in a split level home. They were also in various states of health.

It was initially believed there would be approximately 150 dogs total including puppies. 255 dogs were seized between the two scenes, which quickly outnumbered the resources in place. This operation had been planned for several weeks in order to overcome the logistical hurdles in seizing, housing, feeding, and providing medical attention to this many dogs. American Humane as well as HEART (Humane Evacuation Animal Rescue Team) came to Stevens County several days prior to set up a temporary shelter and housing.

Deputies are working to effectively deal with the large amount of dogs. They say most of the dogs seized were small breeds.

Authorities knew about the operation in Suncrest for some time, but were only able to obtain a search warrant recently. The Ford area operation had only recently come to the attention of the sheriff's office. 

The Sheriff's Office says the people who live in both residences will likely face charges that could include cruelty to animals. Felony charges are also possible. 

Names of the people involved are not being released pending official charges from the Stevens County Prosecutor's Office. All of the dogs seized have been checked by vets and are receiving medical attention if needed.

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