Monday, August 24, 2009

Stuarts Draft dog seizure spurred by routine inspection


STUARTS DRAFT — The seizure of 97 dogs Friday from a Stuarts Draft breeder was prompted by a routine inspection of his kennel, according to a search warrant filed in Augusta County Circuit Court.

The warrant, though, is vague about the condition of the dogs, all of which were relinquished by breeder Kyle Brydge, who has not been criminally charged in the case.

State and county officials confiscated the dogs from Oak Leaf Kennel, located on China Clay Road. Debbie Caywood, director of the Augusta County Regional SPCA, would not comment on the health of the dogs because of a pending “court case.”

Caywood said the ownership rights of the dogs were signed away and that the SPCA, with the help of The Humane Society of the United States, has placed the animals in various shelters. Thirty-six of the dogs remain at the local SPCA and five are ready for adoption. The remaining 31 dogs, small-breed dogs, will be put up for adoption Wednesday, according to Caywood.

In 2007, Brydge told Augusta County officials that he wanted to increase his kennel’s capacity to 250 dogs. During questioning by the Board of Zoning Appeals, Brydge said his puppies were sold before being weaned and the adults usually were sold at six years of age when done breeding. At the time, Brydge said he did not sell the dogs to pet stores and instead used a broker because he did not have a United States Department of Agricultural license.

Brydge said the kennel sits on 17 acres and that the dogs were seen by a veterinarian two times per year. Another 60 dogs, he said, were being kept at a Staunton property. The board denied Brydge’s request and set his limit at 106 dogs.

The search warrant, filed Monday and written by an officer with Augusta County Animal Control, said Brydge’s dogs were “found in shape they were in with adequate water, food and veterinary care.”.." More