Nearly all dogs seized in ND puppy mill in foster care


Only 14 of 174 dogs remain in animal clinic after being seized from a breeder in Wheatland, N.D., earlier this month, the Forum of Fargo Moorhead reports.

A sheriff's department spokeswoman from Cass County said Thursday that 160 of the dogs have been sent to foster homes.

Dozens of Shih Tzus, Maltese, Yorkies and a number of mixed breeds ranging for 5 days to 13 years old were kept in crowded portable kennels filled with feces at a rural Wheatland property.

Some kennels were packed with as many as five dogs each. The dogs were sent to Casselton Veterinary Clinic for care.

A court brief filed by Cass County prosecutors this week indicated that the dogs didn't have access to food or water, and had no air conditioning or ventilation in hot conditions. The brief also stated that the kennels they were kept in were saturated with urine and feces, and the dogs' hair was severely matted.

A court hearing is set for Tuesday to rule on a request by the dogs' owner, Darcy Smith, whether the dogs can be returned to him.

Prosecutors have yet to determine whether Smith will face any charges.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Sgt. Tara Morris told the Forum that the costs of caring for the dogs has topped $100,000.

About $33,000 has been raised in public donations to offset the care, and the clinic plans to waive the remainder of the fee, the spokeswoman says.

Next Up

CBP heater

More than $260K in fake heaters seized at Minnesota border

The 780 infrared zone heaters were found in a rail car bound for Ranier, Minnesota.

Ian Cole

Wild trade Greg Pateryn to Avalanche for Ian Cole

Cole won a pair of Stanley Cups in Pittsburgh and is a former first-round pick.


St. Croix County GOP chair resigns after incendiary post on official website

John Kraft sparked controversy with his 'Prepare for War' post on the party website earlier this month.

ann kim

Ann Kim's new restaurant, Sooki & Mimi, to open in February

The James Beard Award winner is the brains behind Young Joni, Pizzeria Lola, and Hello Pizza.

Screen Shot 2021-01-19 at 1.32.19 PM

Firefighters rescue worker after trench fall in Rochester

The construction worker fell about 15 feet.

gray wolf

Grand Marais mayor's dog survives attack by wolves

He heard his 65-pound dog "screaming bloody murder" and then saw the wolves chasing her.

Screen Shot 2021-01-19 at 12.04.55 PM

Minnesota's COVID vaccine appointment site goes live

Huge demand was expected when the site went live at noon.

emily ford

Duluth woman is hiking 1,000-plus miles on the Ice Age Trail this winter

She could be the second person ever to finish a winter-thru hike of the Wisconsin trail.

coronavirus, covid-19, icu

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, January 19

Two days in a row with fewer than 1,000 new cases.