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Bellefontaine, OH

Shelby County busts alleged puppy mill

An alleged puppy mill was shut down in rural Shelby County over the weekend.

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office served a search warrant at "Pedigree Pets", 8350 Tawawa-Maplewood Road near Maplewood Saturday morning around eight o'clock.

Dave and Rhonda Auton own and operate the business at their residence.

According to Shelby County Sheriff John Lenhart, the investigation and search warrant was a result of a six-month investigation into alleged complaints of cruelty to animals for operating a “puppy mill”.

The investigation was conducted by Deputy and Shelby County Dog Warden Cami Frey with the assistance of the American Kennel Club, the Ohio SPCA, and Dr. Lisa Nadasi.

Upon serving the search warrant, the animals were found to be in very poor health and the kennel conditions were unfit for the animals.

Deputies were assisted by the Ohio SPCA response team and various rescue groups in the service of the search warrant. As the kennels and animals were inspected by Dr. Nadasi and staff, it was determined that the conditions warranted the removal of the animals. Approximately 200 dogs of various breeds were confiscated and removed from the scene.

The investigation continues and charges are pending.

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