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Thursday, Dec 17, 2009County: Solano
Charges: Misdemeanor, Felony CTA
» Christopher Derek Ellis
» Leeanna Rachelle Kamp
Case Updates: 2 update(s) available
The Solano County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is facing a crisis as it struggles to care for 83 puppies rescued last week from a Dixon pet shop.
The purebred puppies, believed to be about 6 weeks old, were taken from California Pets & Supply after the owners of the shop were arrested Dec. 17 on suspicion of numerous charges, including two counts of animal cruelty and illegally operating an online lottery.
Five veterinarians and at least seven staff members at the SPCA have quarantined the puppies while trying to identify what diseases they may have. The pups are separated from the healthy animals on site.
"All of them had something going wrong with them," said Dave Roth, SPCA president. Roth said the puppies could have diseases that include the Parvo virus, ringworm, ear lice and giardia, a gastrointestinal infection, and were most likely born in states with lax laws on vaccines. "It's really sad, they're all pretty little puppies. It breaks your heart to figure out what was going on in there."
Roth said that for a couple of years the SPCA has prepared for disasters such as this.
"This is a disaster drill personified," he said, adding that the SPCA knew arrest warrants were going to be issued for the owners but weren't sure when.
"We set up a triage of sorts to take care of them."
SPCA manager Amy Peterson said blankets and towels are desperately needed because used ones must be thrown away.
The organization also could use puppy food by Kirkland or even baby food of chicken or turkey. Any brand of canned puppy food also is needed, as are cleaners such as Simple Green and bleach, she said.
Bring items to donate to the SPCA, 2200 Peabody Road, or to the Humane Animal Service, 51 Commerce St.
Roth also said that the couple had been selling puppies on the Internet or in church parking lots before moving into their store.
"It was a moving target," he said. "They got bold enough to actually settle in one spot."
Christopher Ellis, believed to be a Canadian citizen, and his wife, Leeanna Kamp, owned California Pets & Supply for the past month. They also ran online business YorkieAngel.com.
They were selling dogs such as Yorkshire terriers, Shih Tzus, Shiba Inus and Maltese for $900 to $2,500.
In addition to Solano County residents, complaints have come from residents of neighboring counties who bought their puppies at the storefront for California Pets & Supply or in another location, such as a store parking lot in Dixon.
Ellis was under investigation in Placer County for similar complaints before relocating to Solano County.
"We've had complaints since March 2008 of people who bought dogs from one or both of these people. The dogs died within a very short time after. They had come into contact with some very contagious diseases," Solano County District Attorney David Paulson said when the puppies were first taken away.
"We needed to take some immediate steps to protect the public."
|Pending resolution of an unrelated Sacramento County probation case, sentencing has been postponed for a Dixon couple who pleaded no contest to animal cruelty charges in connection with a large-scale puppy business they were operating last year.|
Defendants Leeanna Rachelle Kamp, 30, and Christopher Derek Ellis, 29, had been scheduled for sentencing before Solano County Superior Court Judge Peter B. Foor on Thursday morning, but sentencing was postponed pending resolution of an alleged probation violation by Ellis in Sacramento County.
The judge subsequently set 8:30 a.m., Thursday, April 15, for judgment and sentencing of both Ellis and Kamp.
Ellis was technically released on his own recognizance Thursday but is likely to go directly into Sacramento County custody. Kamp remains free on bail.
They were arrested on Dec. 17 after Humane Animal Services officers raided their Dixon pet store, home and storage lot and confiscated more than 90 purebred puppies, including pricey Yorkshire terriers, Shih Tzus, Maltese, Shiba Inus and Chihuahuas.
The pups, many of them reportedly in ill health, eventually were taken to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals center in Vacaville for care.
Five of the puppies died, but the others are recovering and the SPCA is offering them for adoption. People who want one of the pups will be required to take a special, three-hour training class before they will be able to adopt. Fees will be roughly $300 to $350 each. No pedigree papers are available.
In February, Kamp and Ellis pleaded no contest to one count each of cruelty to animals -- Kamp to a misdemeanor charge and Ellis to a felony. Other charges against them were dropped.
|Source: Daily Democrat - Mar 14, 2010|
Update posted on Mar 19, 2010 - 1:43PM
|A couple charged with animal cruelty and other crimes after more than 90 purebred puppies were confiscated from their home and business face a hearing in Solano County Superior Court on Monday.|
Christopher John Derek Ellis and Leanna Rachelle Kamp, both 29, of Dixon, were arrested Dec. 17 after the Solano County District Attorney's Office received numerous complaints that the couple had been selling sick and sometimes dying puppies. The breeds included Yorkshire terriers, Shiba Inus, Maltese and Shih Tzus.
The couple has been charged with grand theft, animal cruelty, criminal conspiracy, illegally operating a lottery in the sale of dogs and child endangerment. The last complaint relates to their 22-month-old daughter and conditions in their home.
They have pleaded not guilty.
|Source: SFGate - Jan 1, 2010|
Update posted on Jan 2, 2010 - 5:43PM
- Mercury News - Dec 23, 2009
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