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Rescued dogs are forfeited, now belong to Mat-Su Borough

by Diana Haecker ~ February 18th, 2011

The more than 150 malnourished dogs that were confiscated in early January from Montana Creek dog breeder Frank Rich are on their way to regain health and weight. Mat-Su Borough Animal care chief Richard Stockdale said that the shelter is moving some of the dogs that recovered well to the Point MacKenzie Correctional farm, a low-security facility for prisoners.

There, Stockdale said, the dogs will have the chance to become further socialized. Stockdale said some dogs have recovered very well and are very friendly and loving towards people, but some are still very scared and skittish, requiring more one-on-one time with people. The work with inmates at the work farm would help the chances for the dogs to become adoptable and it helps the shelter to alleviate the still crowded situation at the animal care facility, said Stockdale.

In a forfeiture hearing last week, the court declared that the dogs no longer belong to Rich and are now property of the Mat-Su Borough. Prior to that, the animals were considered evidence.

Frank Rich was arrested by troopers on January 11 when troopers and Mat-Su animal control executed a search warrant to find 19 dead dogs and 157 severely dehydrated and starving dogs at Rich’s dog yard at his property near Montana Creek.

Rich was taken into custody, arraigned and charged with 50 counts of animal cruelty. Rich posted a bail bond for 2,500 dollars and has been released from the Mat-Su Pretrial facility on January 13. Rich’s trial is set for March 10.

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