BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A couple accused of running an illegal kennel have been charged with animal cruelty, and one of the dogs in their care had to be euthanized.
Some of the dogs were so thin, you can actually count their ribs.
One video shows one of those dogs having difficulty breathing after being removed from the home.
Police say the home off Brown Shade Drive was being run as a phony business called Olympian Kennels by Cameron Whitaker-Nelson, 26, and Rebecca Wolfe, 32.
“This place was being operated as a housing a kennel for dogs, and also a training facility. However, the owners of this establishment were not licensed to do so,” Anne Arundel County Police spokesperson Marc Limansky said.
Lisa Simmons told WJZ via Skype Tuesday that she was the one who tipped off police and the one who took the photos and video.
She says she responded to a Facebook post from pet owners who said they were having a hard time reaching the people they entrusted their dogs to.
With their permission and with police at her side, Simmons says she got a close look at the horrid conditions earlier this month.
The basement where these dogs were kept reportedly smelled of ammonia and fecal matter.
“When I walked into the house, the smell of house punched me in the face — like cold cocked out of the blue. It was a horrible smell,” she said.
Between two days, police removed eight dogs from the property.
One of the emaciated dogs was taken to an animal hospital, where it was humanely euthanized to relieve its suffering.
The other dogs were set to be returned to their owners.
Whitaker-Nelson and Wolfe have been charged with 40 counts of animal cruelty, five for each of the eight dogs.
They were also charged with the following:
- Failure to provide nutritious food in sufficient quantity
- Failure to provide proper air
- Failure to provide proper space
- Failure to provide necessary veterinary care
- Failure to provide necessary sustenance
Animal Control says prior to this case, they had two other complaints at the home. One visit required a follow-up, however, conditions were cleaned up.
WJZ reached out to the business owners but have not heard back.
The investigation into Whitaker-Nelson and Wolfe is ongoing, and additional charges are possible. Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Animal Control at 410-222-3929.