WAYNE, Wis. (WFRV) – A 67-year-old Wisconsin man has been charged with ten counts related to allegations of mistreatment of animals stemming from an investigation that seized over 34 dogs from a residence.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office says that Russell Quaas will appear in Washington County Circuit Court on April 3 to face the allegations. He was believed to be running a non-licensed dog breeding business out of a property in the Town of Wayne.
Deputies say they received several complaints about dogs barking and the living conditions of the property; however, charges could not be substantiated. The latest investigation began when deputies received an anonymous tip about dogs being tied to trees and not having proper shelter.
While investigating that report, Quaas was warned about having more than the allowable three dogs permitted by town ordinance. Several days later, deputies returned to provide Quaas with a letter notifying him of the alleged violations.
On that particular day, the wind chills were below zero, and deputies observed numerous dogs tied to trees and appeared to have inadequate shelter, food, and water.
Authorities secured a search warrant based on probable cause of the mistreatment of animals and found that the building did not have running water or electricity, as well as most of the dogs resided outside.
Some of the dogs were found inside a camper trailer, and in most cases, short leashes for the dogs did not allow them to roam within their shelter.
A small amount of dog food was located on the property. However, it appeared as if the dogs were mainly provided leftover pizza from a local carry-out chain and frozen moldy animal carcasses.
Workers with the Washington County Humane Society, alongside investigators, seized 34 dogs. All but one varied in sized were Jack Russell Terriers of varying ages.
Investigators also consulted with a doctor from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, who agreed that the animals were not provided with adequate shelter, food, or water under Wisconsin laws.
Since January 31st, all the dogs have been cared for at the Washington County Humane Society. Several of the dogs required medical attention, and thankfully all of them survived.
Seizing this number of dogs puts an incredible logistical and financial strain on an animal shelter and we appreciate all of the work they have done in assisting our investigation and in caring for these dogs.
This property has been of concern for some time within our community and through partnerships, with the Washington County Humane Society, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, and the Washington County District Attorney’s Office we have been able to take steps toward finding a permanent solution.Martin Schulteis, Washington County Sheriff
No additional details were provided.
Local 5 News will update this when more information comes from Quaas’ court appearance on April 3.