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WDAY: The News Leader

Published July 30, 2013, 05:08 PM

Adoption process is beginning for the dogs seized from a Wheatland farm

Wheatland, ND (WDAY TV)-- By forfeiting his rights, Smith gives Cass County authorities the green light to kick off the adoption process.

By: Kay Cooley, WDAY

Wheatland, ND (WDAY TV)-- By forfeiting his rights, Smith gives Cass County authorities the green light to kick off the adoption process.

Right now the dogs are in foster care with their numbers reaching nearly 200, and counting.

It's the first step.

Paul Laney- Cass County Sheriff: "Now we can move forward in that process."

Down a long road to a hopefully better life.

Leah Viste- Assistant State Attorney of Cass County: "It's really exciting to see these dogs leaping around and playing and being outside."

Far from where they started, many in cramped cages stacked high and covered in their own feces.

Authorities first seized about 170 dogs from Smith's Wheatland home. But since then, 2 of the dogs have already had puppies, and 10 more are pregnant.

Tanya Martinez- Assistant State Attorney of Cass County: "There could be more that just haven't been discovered yet because they were too early on."

Viste: "Well over 200 in any event."

The question now, is how soon can new families start to adopt them.

Laney: "Especially when you're talking about animals there's a lot people like how come this thing can't happen overnight. There is still a process that has to be done and done right."

It all depends on how quickly they can work with area rescue organizations like 4 Luv of Dog.

Martinez: "This has already taxed their volunteer effort structure to the core so probably as quickly as time will allow for them."

Laney: "Soon very, very soon. It's our goal to get them into homes and into a lifestyle that puppies deserve to be in."

In the meantime, the dogs are in foster homes scattered across the Midwest.

We tried reaching out to volunteers from 4 Luv of Dog, but they say they can't go on camera until paperwork with the Sheriff's Office is finalized.

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