Puppy mill - 90 dogs seized
Riverside, CA (US)
Incident Date: Thursday, Jul 26, 2007
Case Images: 2 files available
» Antonia Angela White
» Phyllis Williams
» Lois Dolan
Case Updates: 1 update(s) available
Three people were arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty after Riverside County Animal Services officials uncovered a dog breeding and hoarding operation with 90 dogs in Mead Valley on Thursday.
Some of the smaller dogs were emaciated and living amid their own excrement with little or no water in small portable kennels stacked inside a deteriorating wood and metal barn with a temperature of 114 degrees at 11 a.m., Animal Services Sgt. Nicky Wapner said.
"They're suffering from neglect," she said. "A lot of the dogs were starved, dehydrated and weak just from the heat out here."
From 40 to 45 Great Danes were among the 90 dogs found on the property, located off Markham Street a few blocks west of Wood Road. Many of them looked healthy but were kept in chain-link pens about 6 feet by 10 feet. Plastic doghouses were inside some pens.
The woman running the operation, Antonia Angela White, 49, was convicted twice before for kennel violations; once in December and once two years ago today, according to county court records.
Both of those cases related to violations at a property in the 17900 block of Haines Street, near Riverside National Cemetery.
Wapner said Animal Services had lost track of White but found her about three months ago through an unrelated call to a nearby property.
Officials tried to work with White to get her to bring the conditions at the Markham Street property up to code but she did not cooperate, Wapner said.
Also arrested were Phyllis Williams, 58, of Ontario, and Lois Dolan, 54, who is believed to be a transient living on the property.
Williams and White co-own Danehaven, a Great Dane breeding operation, Wapner said. Dolan worked for them.
According to a white board that Wapner said was used at pet adoptions outside pet stores, Danehaven charged $250 to $300 per dog.
The Markham Street property that White and Williams lease has no house, just weeds, trees, the ramshackle barn and the pens.
On Thursday, it was littered with rubbish and stacked with empty plastic dog carriers, boxes holding 30 13.2-ounce cans of dog food, cat litter, unassembled metal kennels, fencing materials, dirty blankets and towels, liver-flavored dog training treats, flea and tick insecticide for dogs, and an old skiff.
Dog feces covered parts of the barn floor and insect-covered fly strips and bursting flytraps hung inside the structure.
The entire operation was a health hazard, Wapner said.
"You should've seen the rats that scattered when we lifted up the doghouses," she said.
Neighbor Sue McNamara said she and her family knew there were dogs next door but not 90.
"At times it was pretty loud," she said.
When they complained to White, she would do her best to keep the dogs quiet, McNamara said.
Animal Services took all 90 dogs to county facilities, where they would be given thorough checkups, Wapner said. The ailing canines would be brought back to health if possible, she said.
"I do think they'll be OK," Wapner said.
|Thursday's scheduled arraignment of three women arrested in July on suspicion of animal cruelty was pushed back to September, Riverside County District Attorney's officials said.
Antonia Angela "Angel" White, Phyllis Williams and Lois Dolan were arrested after Riverside County Department of Animal Services seized 92 dogs from a property in unincorporated Riverside County near Mead Valley. The three are out on $5,000 bail each, Riverside Superior Court records showed.
Dolan said Thursday that there are two sides to the story.
"These dogs are loved," Dolan said Thursday night by phone. "These dogs are taken care of."
Some of the seized dogs were emaciated and living amid their own excrement with little or no water in small portable kennels stacked inside a deteriorating wood and metal barn in the 100-plus degree heat, Animal Services Sgt. Nicky Wapner said in July.
|Source: Press-Enterprise - Aug 24, 2007
Update posted on Aug 24, 2007 - 4:24AM