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Emily Welker, Published July 25 2013

All but 14 dogs seized from Wheatland breeder now in foster care

FARGO – All but 14 of the 174 dogs seized by Cass County sheriff’s deputies on July 10 from a Wheatland breeder have been released from a Casselton animal clinic and sent to foster homes, a Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman said Thursday.

The 14 dogs still need foster homes, said Sgt. Tara Morris. The others were distributed through 4 Luv of Dog animal rescue and through other area animal organizations to homes throughout the region.

Morris said the Casselton Veterinary Clinic had calculated the cost of caring for the dogs since their seizure had topped $100,000.

An estimated $33,000 has been raised by a public fund established for the care of the dogs. It will be applied to offset the cost of care, Morris said. The clinic plans to waive the remainder of the cost, she said.

Darcy Smith, the dogs’ owner, has asked the court for a hearing to determine whether his dogs can be returned to him. The hearing is set for July 30.

In a brief filed in Cass County District Court this week, Cass County prosecutors stated the dogs were kept without access to food or water, and without air conditioning or ventilation in hot conditions.

The brief also stated the dogs were kept in kennels saturated with urine and feces which, with inadequate grooming, culminated in severe matting.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Emily Welker at (701) 241-5541