Dogs found at West Modesto home in poor condition


More than 100 dogs found Thursday night at a suspected puppy mill in a duplex in Modesto appear to have been kept in poor and overcrowded conditions, according to video of some dogs.

An animal control officer filmed the conditions of some of the 150 dogs found inside both sides of Modesto’s west duplex in the 500 block of Roselawn Avenue. It shows several dogs in small cages, and the officer also talks about the dogs not having enough access to fresh water and food.

The discovery came as part of a sheriff’s office investigation into an April 30 domestic violence call. Deputies from the department’s Special Investigations Unit were at the home when they found the dogs.

sergeant. Luke Schwartz said the domestic abuse victim endured continuous abuse and torture. Nicholas Dean Baugh, 38, allegedly burned her with a butane torch, beat her with an ashtray and used a shock collar on her.

The Burbank-Paradise Fire Department also responded to the scene after a fire broke out. Deputy Chief Chris Bernardi said some firefighters stayed to help the dogs – one of whom died of smoke inhalation – after the blaze was extinguished.

Some of the dogs had open C-section wounds that had become infected, Schwartz said.

Animal control took possession of the dogs, which are French Bulldogs, Dobermans and other breeds, many of which were registered with the American Kennel Club, Schwartz said.

He said it was early in the investigation, but believes Baugh did not turn the dogs over to authorities and therefore has the right to request a hearing to try to get at least some of them back.

As of Friday afternoon, the acting director of the Stanislaus County Animal Services Agency had not returned a phone call requesting information about the process.

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Authorities investigating a domestic violence case found more than 100 dogs at an apparent puppy mill in south Modesto, Calif. on Thursday, May 19, 2022. Modesto Fire Department

Responsible breeding

National organizations such as the American Kennel Club and the ASPCA provide guidelines for responsible animal breeding and purchasing on their websites.

Both talk about the time and care it takes to raise dogs, and AKC in particular only gives instructions for raising individual litters at a time.

The ASPCA says responsible breeders “are transparent and provide a complete dog history” and “encourage potential owners to visit where the dogs are bred and bred, meet the litter, and preferably both parents ( but at least one), and to discuss their breeding and sales practices.”

The American Kennel Club has emphasized the importance for potential dog owners to examine the breeding site.

“Pay close attention to the environment and the dogs themselves,” the AKC’s website says. “Does the house or kennel look clean?” Do the puppies seem in good weight, lively and vigorous? »

This story was originally published May 21, 2022 9:04 a.m.

Lydia Gerike began covering breaking news for the Modesto Bee in February 2021. She graduated from Indiana University with degrees in journalism and international studies. Lydia has previously worked as a fellow or intern at the Indianapolis Star, Hartford Courant and Oregonian.


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