Monday, December 21, 2009

Yorkie Angel / California Pets and Supply: Christopher Ellis and Leeanna Kamp

Dec 21, 2009: Not Guilty Pleas For Animal Cruelty, Child Neglect Charges

Two owners of a Dixon pet store plead not guilty Monday to animal cruelty and child neglect charges after more than 100 toy-breed puppies were taken from their pet shop last week.

Authorities said the dogs that were taken from California Pets and Supply – including a variety of Yorkshire terriers, Shih Tzus, Shiba Inus and Maltese mixes – suffered from various diseases and ill health. In addition, store owners Chris Ellis and his wife Leanna Kamp faced child endangerment charges stemming from accusations that they neglected their nearly 2-year-old daughter.

Kamp reacted with shock in a Vacaville courtroom Monday as she and husband Ellis faced the judge. Both plead not guilty to the charges against them.

The couple's store was raided last Thursday after allegations the store was selling puppies that died shortly after customers brought them home.

It was after a search of the couple’s home that the additional charge of child endangerment surfaced due to the state of the home.

Dec 19, 2009:
Puppies Removed, Two Arrested After Animal Cruelty Claims In Dixon

DIXON - Two people are under arrest and dozens of puppies are under the care of Solano County SPCA officials following the raid and closure of a pet store in Dixon.

Christopher Ellis and Leeanna Kamp were taken into custody by police officers on charges of animal cruelty during a raid on the California Pets and Supply store Thursday afternoon in Dixon.

Officials with the Solano County District Attorney's Office began investigating Ellis and Kamp after various complaints by dog owners that newly-purchased puppies died within days of acquiring them from the California Pets and Supply store. Authorities say Ellis had previously been under investigation in another county on similar accusations before relocating to Solano County.

Puppies at the store were apparently for sale on a website called "Yorkie Angel." Online videos posted three months ago show what appear to be relatively healthy, happy puppies playing with toys and posing for the camera.

Solano County District Attorney David Paulson say Ellis and Kamp allegedly ran online lotteries through the website in violation of state law. A promotion on the website reads "Win A T-Cup Yorkie Puppy for only $20!" Visitors to the website were apparently able to purchase a virtual lottery ticket by submitting payment to "Yorkie Angel" by using their credit card or debit card.

"We had to act immediately to protect the citizens of Solano County from people who were exposing the public to sick or diseased puppies," District Attorney Paulson commented in a statement released to the media Thursday. "We are concerned for anyone who may have entered the business in Dixon. If they have other pets, we would encourage them to seek veterinary attention."

It's unclear what disease or ailment the puppies at California Pets and Supply, and those allegedly for sale through the website, may have contracted or spread. A complaint on a consumer reports website from a person claiming to have purchased a dog through the website says their dog was diagnosed with Parvo by a veterinarian shortly after purchase..." More & video