LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — On Thursday, the Nye County Sheriff’s Office (NCSO) and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals organization (ASPCA) investigators discovered the bodies of more dogs on the site of an animal cruelty scene in Amargosa Valley.
Investigators returned to the scene to serve a search warrant to excavate what had been identified as the possible burial sites of more dogs.
During the excavation, several bodies of dogs in various stages of decomposition.
The most recent discovery is part of a wider investigation after the NCSO arrested two people accused in an animal cruelty case in August.
Oskana Higgins and Vasili Platunov now face felony animal abuse and neglect charges, according to NCSO.
During the arrest, 300+ dogs were found at a property in Amargosa Valley, an additional 25 dogs were later found at another property in Pahrump.
Some of the dogs seized were euthanized on site due to their condition — others were found dead — as detectives lay out how they found some of the animals starving, documents obtained by the 8 News Now I-Team on Wednesday said.
The dogs’ owner, Platunov, lives in Pahrump but maintained “a breeding operation” at the Amargosa Valley address. Higgins is identified in the documents as the caretaker at the property, according to NCSO court documents.
During the investigation at the Amargosa Valley property detectives located 257 dogs, court documents said. In addition, sheriff’s deputies found dozens of frozen puppies at the unlicensed facility.
The majority of the dogs are Caucasian Shepherds, a large breed sold for security and protection. Investigators said they came out to the property for a report of an injured animal.
NCSO thanked Amargosa Dairy who donated its equipment and time to assist in the excavation, on its Youtube page on Thursday evening.
How to help animal assistance effort
The sheriff’s office set up a GoFundMe page for donations to help in the animals’ care. The fundraiser has a $75,000 goal. As of Wednesday evening, the total number of funds raised stood at over $28,000.
Shelters interested in helping care for the dogs can email firstname.lastname@example.org.