Dozens of animals living in "deplorable" conditions were removed from a eastern Wisconsin home recently, and now their owner may face charges.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) says they assisted the Forest County Sheriff's Department in removing, transporting and sheltering 30 wolf-dog hybrids and 14 horses as part of an animal cruelty investigation in Crandon, Wisconsin.
Investigators responded to the property after local authorities got numerous complaints from residents about the owner breeding wolf-dog hybrids that would frequently escape. Wolf-dogs (part wolf, part dog) pose a risk to public safety because they can be "extremely timid and unpredictable," making them "unsuitable and potentially dangerous pets," the ASPCA says.
In the state of Wisconsin, people who own wolf-dogs are required to have a license, FOX 11 reports, and there are additional requirements owners must adhere to, the state Department of Natural Resources website says. Sheriff John Dennee told Channel 3000 they had been concerned about the animals "for quire some time."
The ASPCA says it found many wolf-dogs kept on chains without access to food or water and suffering from untreated medical conditions, while others were found running loose on the property. Investigators also found horses that appeared to be suffering from neglect and malnutrition, as well as some dead animals on the property.
"We’re stepping in because the basic mental, social and physical needs of these animals are not being fulfilled and they are suffering from a very poor quality of life,” Tim Rickey of the ASPCA said in a statement. “Our immediate goal is to remove these animals over the next few days and provide much-needed medical care and treatment at our emergency shelter.”
The owner of the animals was arrested on cruelty-related charges, and additional charges could follow.