Concerns lead to ASPCA raid at Wisconsin shelter
ASPCA Rescues Over 300 Animals!
Was it an animal shelter, or a puppy mill, or perhaps a little of both?
Whatever the case, the Thyme and Sage Ranch in Wisconsin is no more after 300 dogs were seized and owner and founder Jennifer Petkus was charged with 11 misdemeanor animal cruelty charges. The story sounds a little similar to the one we told you about earlier this week – Pendragwn Chow Rescue in Pennsylvlania.
In the Wisconsin case, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department executed a search warrant Tuesday at the ranch, seizing the first 100 dogs, eight horses and a goat. At least six dog carcasses were discovered and a ram needed to be euthanized, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.
According to a criminal complaint, Dr. Lisa Kerwin-Lucchi, a veterinarian with the Dane County Humane Society, used a hidden camera and temperature probe to record conditions at Thyme and Sage Ranch in rural Cazenovia in March, documenting dogs without access to food and unfrozen water, dogs with severely matted fur and inadequate bedding for unheated buildings.
Petkus was charged with one count of improper shelter to animals and 10 counts of intentionally mistreating animals — all misdemeanors. In addition, she faces five counts of unlawful deposit of animals carcasses.
Court records also show that Thyme and Sage, which has a contract with Richland County to serve as a shelter for lost and found animals, had already transferred 68 dogs and 10 cats to the Dane County Humane Society between Feb. 1 and March 27.
Kerwin-Lucchi started collecting the criminal evidence as early as February to obtain a search warrant and file charges “to make sure (Petkus) can’t do this again.”
She said she’s not sure what led to the conditions of her shelter because Many of the seized dogs look to be “retired breeders from puppy mills,” and the fact that she was adopting out large number of young puppies raised the suspicion she may also have been breeding, Kerwin-Lucchi said.
On Tuesday morning, May 19, the ASPCA was on hand in Cazenovia, WI, to assist in the raid of an animal sanctuary, the Thyme and Sage Ranch. The ASPCA Forensic Cruelty Investigation and Disaster Response teams, as well as our Mobile Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) Unit, are currently working alongside the Richland County Sheriff’s Department to collect evidence and evaluate the animals found at the site.
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