UPDATE: Waterville animal shelter owners face additional charges

The Central New York SPCA says 62-year-old Brenda Kunze, 66-year-old Horst Kunze, and 40-year-old Joseph Kunze owned and operated the Whispering Pines Animal Shelter in Waterville where 60 dogs, four cats, and one bird were seized in a raid Friday.

Posted: Sep 17, 2019 10:51 PM
Updated: Sep 18, 2019 1:17 PM

The Central New York SPCA says 62-year-old Brenda Kunze, 66-year-old Horst Kunze, and 40-year-old Joseph Kunze owned and operated the Whispering Pines Animal Shelter in Waterville where 60 dogs, four cats, and one bird were seized in a raid Friday.

Investigators say Brenda is charged with animal cruelty and selling sick or diseased animals. Horst is charged with animal cruelty and housing animals in unhealthy or unsanitary conditions. Joseph is also charged with housing animals in unhealthy or unsanitary conditions.

"The kennel areas that the animals were kept in were unhealthy and unsanitary, conditions that animals should not be living in because it gravely effect their health," CNY SPCA Chief William Pulaski said. "This is an ongoing investigation, we're still compiling details, other charges could be added and also the counts of those violations will also be determined at a later date."

Police also charged Brenda and Horst Kunze with illegal weapons charges.

According to Pulaski, the shelter had been under investigation since July after several reports of people buying animals that were sick and died shortly after being purchased.

"The ones that we had reported sick from witness statements, we had a couple cases of parvo, we have another case of coccidia and pneumonia," Pulaski said.

Pulaski says it is still unclear whether or not the animals were sick before they got to to Whispering Pines.

Pulaski says the animals are all being cared for at the CNY SPCA.

The CNY SPCA says anyone who has recently purchased an animal from Whispering Pines that became ill or passed away can call them at 315-454-3469.

There will also be a donation drive this weekend to help the animals rescued from the shelter. The CNY SPCA is looking for food, towels, blankets, puppy pads, 55-gallon garbage bags, marrow bones and toys.

Items can be dropped off at Perry's Hardware Store, 100 Utica St., Hamilton, N.Y., on Saturday, Sept. 21, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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