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Prosecutor: Dead puppies found in freezers of embattled Nye County kennel

Dozens of dead puppies have been recovered from freezers on the property of two Nye County kennel operators, just days after authorities confiscated more than 300 animals from their operations in Amargosa Valley.

That’s according to the prosecutor who is trying kennel operators Oskana Higgins and Vasili Platunov on at lest 34 felony animal cruelty charges. Additional criminal charges could be pending, the prosecutor said, in a Pahrump courtroom on Monday.

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

An attorney for Platunov told KPVM-TV that Nye County animal control officers were supposed to be helping and overseeing the couple to relocate several dogs for the past months from a facility in Pahrump to a new site in Amargosa Valley, following complaints from neighbors about the smell and noise from their Pahrump facility.

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. 23, shortly after animal control officers and law enforcement officials raided their Farm Road kennel in Amargosa Valley 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].”

David Boruchowitz, a captain with the Nye County Sheriff’s Office said the dogs seized from the kennel last week will be moved to the county’s new animal shelter on Siri Lane that celebrated a grand opening last week.

He said the condition of the dogs is gradually improving now that they are receiving better care.

Reporter Jimmy Romo contributed to this story.

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