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Old January 19th, 2003, 08:22 PM
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51 neglected dogs found at grooming shop

51 neglected dogs found at grooming shop
LAS VEGAS SUN

Metro Police investigating a stolen car ring discovered 51 dogs without food or water Wednesday night at a pet grooming shop at Flamingo Road and Torrey Pines Drive.

Officers arriving at Artistic Pet discovered a couple of stolen cars parked near the shop, police said.

When they went inside the shop, they discovered the dogs packed in boxes and cages without ventilation, food or water, police said.

Seven puppies were packed inside one small box. The floor was covered with dog feces, as were many of the cages, police said.

Police arrested the shop owner on auto theft charges, and charges of animal cruelty were pending today.

The dogs were taken to Dewey Animal Shelter, where owners who had not picked up their pets can find them.

David Marsh, senior animal control officer for Clark County, said a total of 51 dogs, including 12 very young puppies were taken to the Dewey Animal Shelter late last night.

"Many of them are a little underweight and dehydrated," Marsh said.

Although Marsh is not a veterinarian, he said it appeared some of the animals would need additional medical treatment. A veterinarian was scheduled to conduct assessments of all of the animals later today, both to ensure the dogs' health and to help the county build a case against the groomer, Marsh said.

A longtime Las Vegas resident said the raid of Artistic Pet has given him hope that his dog is alive.

The man, who asked that his name not be printed, said he dropped his 9-year-old Yorkie off at the kennel on Oct. 27 prior to taking a trip to Chicago. He said he chose the place because it looked clean and was near his house.

"The business called my friend (who was watching his home) on Nov. 1 and said my dog died in his sleep," the man said. "My friend arranged to have my dog cremated, but he did not go to the place. And he did not want to upset me, so he didn't tell me about it until I got back to Las Vegas on Nov. 8.

"I just accepted that my dog had died and was in a lot of grief. I still cry every night about it. After watching the news last night, my stomach turned. Now I think maybe they sold my dog. I don't know what to do now."

The man said his dog, despite its advanced years, was very healthy and a purebred, so it would have fetched a good price even without papers.

"If anyone bought a Yorkie from this place between Oct. 27 and Nov. 8, I can only ask that they call the Sun so that I can get in touch with them in hopes that it is my dog," the man said.

"I just really think the county should keep a better eye on these kind of places," he said.

The county had issued a business license to Artistic Pet in 1995, but that license had lapsed, according to county records. An application for a new license, filed in July of 2001, was listed as "pending approval." No owner information was available.
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