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Officials: All dogs seized in Amargosa Valley raid safe at county shelter

Updated September 1, 2022 - 3:05 pm

Nye County officials on Wednesday said they had relocated all of the dogs seized from an Amargosa Valley kennel and another site in Pahrump last week to the county’s new shelter. Many of the dogs were reported to be in “vile” condition and are receiving medical care.

“We have a lot of work to do obviously. We have a lot of care for these animals,” said Nye County Sheriff’s Captain David Boruchowitz in a YouTube video posted on Wednesday night.

ASPCA animal rescue workers, animal control officers, county inmates and a number of volunteers have been working this week to care for the dogs and transport them to shelter as temperatures topped 100 degrees, Boruchowitz said.

More donated kennels and supplies are continuing to arrive, which will aid in the rescue effort, he added.

“It has been a long couple of days. Our staff and our inmates are very tired,” Boruchowitz said. “But obviously the care of these dogs is what’s important to us.”

Nye County authorities on Aug. 22 confiscated 281 dogs from a Farm Road kennel in Amargosa Valley and another site in Pahrump owned and operated by Oskana Higgins and Vasili Platunov. The pair has been charged with at least 34 felony animal cruelty charges. Additional criminal charges could be pending, a prosecutor in the case said on Monday, after dozens of dead puppies were additionally recovered from freezers on their property.

A judge is giving the couple two weeks to respond to the criminal complaint against them.

An attorney for Platunov told KPVM-TV on Monday that Nye County animal control officers were supposed to be helping and overseeing the couple to relocate several dogs for the past months from their operations, following complaints from neighbors about the smell and noise from their operations.

During that time, many dogs were reportedly euthanized and some were voluntarily surrendered to animal rescue groups, according to reports from the news station.

But Higgins and Platunov were not arrested until Aug. 22, shortly after animal control officers and law enforcement officials raided their Farm Road kennel in Amargosa Valley and a site in Pahrump and seized hundreds of dogs reported to be in poor condition.

“If animal control is there supervising this move and this operation, why is it they didn’t notice anything?” Tom Gibson, the attorney for Platunov said to KPVM on Monday. “The county has a lot of explaining to do too — especially animal control and the sheriff’s (office).”

The Nye County Sheriff’s Office and Tails of Nye County Inc. — a nonprofit animal rescue group partnering with the local shelter — have organized a GoFundMe to help benefit the dogs. By Thursday, it had raised more than $27,000 toward its $75,000 goal. The money raised will go to kennels, food and supplies for the dogs.

Contact Editor Brent Schanding at bschanding@pvtimes.com

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