Thirteen Chihuahuas were rescued last week from a self-storage unit in Duanesburg, N.Y., after authorities were tipped to a possible puppy mill. Police believe the dogs were moved to the storage unit after investigators from the Schenectady County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) answered a call from the owner of Golden Self Storage regarding animals being kept at a neighboring property.
SPCA officers said they could smell feces in a house next to the storage facility but were denied searching the premises by the owners. They cited the owners for six violations of no dog licenses and said they would be back with a search warrant.
By the time officers returned to search the property, officials believe the 13 dogs were moved next door to the self-storage unit. When investigators found the dogs inside the unit, they were huddled in four mid-sized crates and covered in feces and urine. Authorities also rescued six other dogs and a cat from the residential property.
Suspect Catherine Wallace was charged with 20 counts of animal cruelty, and her son Michael Wallace was charged with 13 counts of impounding animals without food or water.