Tuesday, January 18, 2011

150 dogs seized from breeder's home

by Jackie Bartz

MONTANA CREEK, Alaska — Animal care staff in the Mat-Su Valley worked through the night Monday to remove more than 150 dogs from a breeder's home.

Alaska State Troopers arrived Monday evening at the Montana Creek home of 53-year-old Frank Rich of Willow, near Mile 92 of the Parks Highway, to investigate a report of animal neglect.

Troopers say when they arrived at the house on Kashwitna Drive, there was no food or water for the dogs. There were about 150 dogs on the property.

Troopers say nearly all the dogs were malnourished and dehydrated. The animals were shivering and eating snow and their own feces. An additional 22 dogs that had already died were found on the properly, apparently dead from exposure, starvation and dehydration. They say there could be more dead dogs on the property.

About 30 of the dogs are puppies. Some are just a few weeks old.

Troopers arrested Rich for 50 counts of cruelty to animals and remanded him to to the Mat-Su Pretrial Facility. He was arraigned Tuesday morning on the Class A misdemeanors, and a judge entered a plea of not guilty.

Rich is held on $5,000 bail. If he posts bail, he cannot own dogs.

Rich told troopers he lost his job in October and was having a tough time supporting the dogs for his breeding operation..." More

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