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More than 300 dogs seized in animal cruelty investigation

Another 25 animals have been seized in an alleged animal cruelty case in Pahrump, authorities say, adding to the total of 300 dogs rescued earlier this week.

Nye County Sheriff Sharon Wehrly said in a video statement that a warrant was served on a Pahrump property Wednesday, resulting in more animals being found.

“It’s been a long two days for the Nye County Sheriff’s Office as we have cared for the life safety needs of almost 300 dogs,” she said in the video, posted to the agency’s YouTube channel.

Wednesday’s announcement follows news on Monday that “300 dogs were seized” at a property in Amargosa Valley.

The sheriff’s office said they worked over night into Tuesday morning to care for the animals.

They arrested Oskana Higgins and Vasili Platunov on suspicion of felony animal abuse and neglect charges.

Higgins and Platunov run a kennel business and it’s not the first time animals have been seized from their possession.

The pair was forced to move their operations from Pahrump to Amargosa Valley more than a year ago following a four-year battle with local officials and neighbors who complained about the excessive number of dogs they kept on a 2.3-acre plot on Camelia Street in Pahrump. While initially permitted to care for 30 dogs there, the two were found to be maintaining up to 150 dogs on their property in early 2020.

Animal rescue organizations have been asked to help find care and temporary shelter for the dogs.

“The dogs are under court order at this time and are not adoptable until the resolution of the court process, thus this will be a foster situation until the process is complete,” the sheriff’s office posted on Facebook on Tuesday.

Those interested in assisting can e-mail sheriff@co.nye.nv.us.

The news came as Nye County officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday morning for its new, $4.1 million, 9,000-square-foot animal shelter at 1580 E. Siri Lane in Pahrump. It’s unclear if any dogs consfiscated from the Amargosa Valley kennel will be transported there. The shelter is holding a special event today to help clear the shelter and find homes for the dozens of animals there.

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