Charlo dog kennel owners charged with animal cruelty
POLSON, Mont. - The Lake County Sheriff's Department cited Larry and Nadine Latzke, the owners of LDR Kennels in Charlo, for felony aggravated animal cruelty. After receiving complaints about the kennel a deputy from the Lake County Sheriff's Department wanted to do something about it.
"This deputy did some research and went back to 2008," said Lake County Sheriff Don Bell, "where deputies went out there and investigated, and the folks would never let them in. You really couldn't do an investigation. So he gathered up statements from people that had bought animals from this location, and from that complaint went and took it in front of a judge and got a search warrant to search this place."
The warrant allowed members of the Life Savers Animal Rescue to come in Tuesday afternoon and raid the property.
"When they originally got their search warrant," said Lynette Hinshaw-Duford, "they were told that there were 30 dogs on the property. When they investigated a little further it turned out that there was about 130 dogs on the property."
LSAR was only able to rescue dogs that were deemed in need of special veterinary care. Dogs that were deemed healthy had to stay because they are still property of the kennel.
Only 11 dogs were removed from the kennel on Tuesday, taken to the Polson area and are now under the temporary care of a veterinarian.
The court hearing for the owners of the kennel is scheduled for Aug. 10. That is likely when we will know whether the rest of the dogs will be moving out to a different home.
If the rest of those dogs are released, LSAR says what they need most are foster families for the dogs, as well as donations. You can donate through the company's website.
We looked into LDR Kennels and found complaints dating back years with negative and graphic online reviews.
In 2009, there were letters written to the Montana Legislature about the kennels, encouraging a Montana bill be passed so the kennel could be closed. The House voted that bill down.
The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service made record requests on the kennel that same year.