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WDAY: The News Leader

Published July 11, 2013, 09:08 AM

West Acres store says Cass dog breeder in seizure was a supplier

FARGO – The manager and co-owner of the pet store at the West Acres mall here said he’s been buying puppies for about a year from the owner of 170 dogs seized Wednesday by Cass County Sheriff’s deputies in a massive dog-hoarding case.

By: Emily Welker, Forum News Service, INFORUM, Forum News Service

FARGO – The manager and co-owner of the pet store at the West Acres mall here said he’s been buying puppies for about a year from the owner of 170 dogs seized Wednesday by Cass County Sheriff’s deputies in a massive dog-hoarding case.

Shaun Evanson, who is co-owner of the mall pet store Pets R’ Inn, said Wheatland dog breeder Darcy Smith had called him at about 11:30 Thursday morning to say that deputies had taken his dogs, and that Smith planned to try to get as many of them back as possible.

Evanson said he had no idea of the number of dogs Smith had, believing him to be a small breeder who had at most five or 10 dogs on the property.

He said he was shocked and disgusted to hear that there were so many dogs in Smith’s possession, dogs which Sheriff’s deputy Tara Morris described as being “in very poor condition” when they were seized by deputies and taken to the Casselton Veterinary Service for care.

Some of the dogs were still being triaged for care Thursday morning, said Morris.

“This makes us sick that he’s affiliated with us – which is our fault for not knowing,” said Evanson, adding that Smith was the only breeder he bought from with whom he had no prior personal relationship or had not inspected the breeding operation of.

“I told him, we don’t want to buy from people like you,” said Evanson.

Evanson said Smith had indicated he only had a few animals on his Wheatland breeding operation, but that the number of litters Smith wanted to sell him had increased in the last two months. “He’d just call when he couldn’t sell his own,” said Evanson.

Before the seizure of the dogs, Evanson had planned to visit Smith’s breeding operation within the week, based on the number of dogs Smith had begun to bring him, he said.

Evanson said any dog owners who had bought dogs from his store and had questions about where their animals had come from could find the name of the breeder on the dog’s papers.

He said all animals he’d bought from Smith had come into the store in good condition, having been clean and checked by a veterinarian prior to sale.

“We all love pets” at his store, Evanson said. “This breaks our hearts.”

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