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Convicted Pine River breeder continues dog operation

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A northern Minnesota dog breeder who was convicted of misdemeanor animal neglect after 130 dogs were seized from her property this summer continues to raise and sell dogs.

The Cass County Attorney's Office initially charged 60-year-old Deborah Beatrice Rowell with nine counts related to animal abuse and neglect after filthy living conditions were discovered at her Pine River kennel.

WCCO reports none of the charges would have suspended her license to breed the animals. Rowell pleaded not guilty and had intended to go to trial until changing course earlier this month.

In a plea deal, Rowell pleaded guilty to one count of failure to provide dogs with adequate shade and was ordered to pay a $135 fine.

"It’s ridiculous. How is that OK?” Lois Baker, who lives two blocks away from Rowell, told the television station.

The Animal Humane Society spent more than $200,000 treating the dogs in quarantine, many of them pregnant. WCCO says seven had to be euthanized.

More than 200 dogs and puppies were put up for adoption last weekend.

Rowell is subject to inspections at any time as part of her sentence. Any violations will lead to jail time, WCCO said.

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