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UPDATE: 32 Dogs Malnourished in possible Puppy Mill are now at animal shelter

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UPDATED: 10/24/2018 @ 9:53 A.M. – We are now learning new details on the 32 dogs that were seized from a malnourished, flea-ridden, worm-infested house on October 12th.

Tazewell County Animal Shelter shared on Facebook that they have taken in the thirty-two dogs.

The shelter also shared that right now the dogs are part of an ongoing investigation and considered evidence so they cannot be fostered at this time.


TAZEWELL COUNTY, VA (WOAY) – The Tazewell County Sheriff’s Department and Police discover a puppy mill and found 32 dogs that were malnourished, flea-ridden, worm-infested, as well as standing in fecal and urine soaked cages throughout the home.

On October 12, 2018, The Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office in conjunction with Tazewell and Richlands Police Departments, Tazewell County Animal Shelter, Crab Orchard Vet Services, Adult Protective Services, and the Building Inspector conducted a search warrant on a residence on Stinson Ridge Rd regarding a possible puppy mill. Upon arrival, deputies discovered 32 dogs in various states of duress from being malnourished, flea-ridden and worm-infested as well as standing in fecal and urine soaked cages throughout the residence. The living conditions of the dogs were deplorable, Sheriff Brian Hieatt said, “The conditions these animals were placed in was disgusting and beyond imagination, we will work with the Commonwealth’s Attorney to bring a myriad of charges against the owners.”

Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office Code Enforcement Deputies will be bringing multiple charges against the owners for failure to vaccinate, failure to license, failure to provide adequate medical treatment, abuse and neglect, and other charges.

Of the 32 dogs, 3 had to be transported for emergency medical treatment and the remaining dogs will be housed at the Tazewell County Animal Shelter until a determination by the courts can be made. The residence is being reviewed by the Building Inspector for possible Condemnation. There were large amounts of fecal matter, urine, dog food, and dirt throughout the residence and the roof was collapsing in certain areas of the house.

The names of the owners are not yet being released as they have not been officially charged, we can release that the female owner has been charged in 2008 and again in 2015 with criminal charges relating to Animal Charges. As this case develops we will release the names of the offenders.



Tyler Barker

Tyler Barker is currently the Interim News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. I was promoted to this job in Mid-November. I still will fill in on weather from time to time. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email me at tbarker@woay.com


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