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Authorities rescue more than 50 dogs from puppy mill in Montgomery County

By JOLEEN FERRIS

MINDEN, N.Y. (WKTV) - State Police, the Montgomery County Sheriff's Department and Fort Plain Police are breaking up an apparent puppy mill off Route 5S in the Town of Minden in Montgomery County.

Complaint calls to all three agencies led investigators to the old white barn. They began executing a search warrant Wednesday night, seizing more than 50 dogs, mostly pit bulls, both adults and puppies. State Police say the animals were being kept in unhealthy conditions. Namely, sub-zero temperatures.

Temperatures dipped to 10 degrees below zero overnight Wednesday into Thursday. The dogs could still be heard barking on Thursday morning. Police brought in portable heaters to keep the dogs warm while they undertake the time-consuming task of finding suitable shelter for the several dozen dogs. They say local shelters are helping out.

Thursday afternoon, several private citizens in private vehicles removed some of the dogs, putting them in cages in the backs of their cars, even allowing one to ride freely in the front passenger's seat. The dogs did not appear hostile or malnourished. Some appear to have recently given birth.

The people would not say what, if any, animal shelter or rescue organization they represented. State Police say a pit-bull only rescue outfit called, "Out of the Pits," based in Troy, was on the scene at one point. That organization did not return an e-mail from NewsChannel 2.

He says it's likely more than one person will face misdemeanor animal cruelty charges, but would not identify the property owners or say if they are suspects. People in a house across the street would not talk. State Police expect to issue a formal news release later on Thursday.

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