PAHRUMP, Nev. (KLAS) –The Nye County Sheriff’s Office has discovered dozens of frozen puppies at unregistered facilities, an investigator said outside court Monday.
Sheriff’s deputies, animal control officers, and veterinarians have worked for a week to care for the 300 dogs found living in unsanitary conditions in two locations: one in Amargosa Valley and a second in Pahrump.
Capt. David Boruchowitz with the Nye County Sheriff’s Office described the living situation for the animals as extremely dirty. Kennels and small buildings dotted the property in rural Amargosa Valley near the California border.
Some dogs found alive were as young as days old, Boruchowitz said.
A judge granted the sheriff’s office control of the dogs on Monday, allowing them to be moved to the county shelter. The dogs could be up for adoption within a month, Boruchowitz said.
Boruchowitz did not comment further on the discovery of the frozen dogs, only saying investigators found “dozens.”
“We don’t have enough room inside the shelter,” Boruchowitz said Monday. “We will be moving his kennels and be putting systems in place out here behind the shelter to care for them locally.”
The majority of the dogs are Caucasian Shepherds, a large breed sold for security and protection. Investigators said they came out to the property last Monday for a report of an injured animal.
Deputies arrested Oskana Higgins, believed to be the dogs’ caretaker, and Vasili Platunov, the person who ran the business, on felony animal abuse and neglect charges in relation to the injured-animal call, Boruchowitz said. Each now face more charges connected with the seizure of the dogs.
Platunov’s attorney, Thomas Gibson, said his client was in the process of moving the dogs from Pahrump to Amargosa Valley.
“He is forced into moving these dogs from one property he owned to the other and that completely broke him down,” Gibson said.
The sheriff’s office has set up a GoFundMe page for donations to help in the animals’ care. The fundraiser has a $75,000 goal.