Filthy conditions found near city sewage plant
A suspected puppy mill was discovered in a dilapidated building across from the Crescent City Wastewater Treatment Plant on Battery Street on Friday afternoon.
Seventeen dogs were taken from the building by animal control officials and two people who recently moved from Louisiana were arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty.
As one approached the building, dog howls echoed from inside an attached metal shed. Piles of bird feces covered the floor of a bedroom and shredded garbage covered the floor of a kitchen area, where a couple of dogs were kept.
The entrance of the shed had small mounds of dog feces that reeked. Inside, 14 dogs were kept in eight kennels — all but one held a male and female. Dachshund, yorkie, bloodhound, mastiff, bull dog and German shepherd were among the breeds.
“The dogs were living and lying in their own feces, which hasn’t been cleaned in a long time,” said Police Lt. Garrett Scott.
The shed had no windows or ventilation, and the smell stuck to clothes after only briefly entering. Skin sagged off the ribcages of underweight dogs and several had eye infections. Most of the feces-covered buckets designated for water and food were empty. A hanging lamp and sunlight coming in through a plastic wall provided the only light.
The discovery was made by the city’s Code Enforcement Officer Eric Taylor, who grew wary of the building and suspected the activity had been going on for over a month, Scott said.
“There was an inspection today by animal control where they discovered a major problem,” said Scott.
An investigation will continue, but it appears there was some form of breeding for sales, Scott said.
Police officers Eric Taylor and Joe Sullivan and District Attorney Jon Alexander arrived at the building to interview Danny J. Bonner, 58, and Katherine H. Stone, 52, before they were arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty.
“It goes beyond cruelty to the realm of torture,” said Alexander. “Some folks might want to take a horse whip out to what we just saw, mine’s called the penal code of California.”
Alexander said he plans to charge a felony animal cruelty count for each one of the animals confiscated.
Del Norte Humane Society volunteers and Four Paws Veterinary technicians helped with handling the animals.