UTAH COUNTY, Utah — Dozens of dogs were found living in "deplorable" conditions, according to the Utah County Sheriff's Office. In all, 83 dogs were seized after warrants were served on three homes.
On March 31, deputies from the sheriff's office and animal control responded to a report of malnourished dogs covered with feces at a Spanish Fork home on River Bottoms Road. When they met with the homeowner, Staci Milligan Baker, what the deputy saw was "disturbing," according to the official report.
Two puppies were laying nearby in a small kennel, sitting in feces. Baker told deputies that the puppies had been seen by a Provo veterinarian and provided medication by the doctor, but both claims were proven to be false.
While on the property, a deputy noticed a shed where multiple dogs could be seen inside. The dogs had no water or food, and appeared to be malnourished.
During the investigation, the sheriff's office learned that Baker and her husband owned additional properties in Orem and Provo.
"The dogs at all three locations appeared to be kept in less than desirable conditions," the department wrote.
After continually trying to contact Baker, a "Notice of Action" was ordered to have the puppies seen in the first home checked by a veterinarian. When Baker never responded to calls or text messages, a search warrant was issued for all three properties on April 13.
During the search, 26 dogs were found at the Orem home, and another 55 dogs at the River Bottoms Road home.
The sheriff's office said describing the conditions of the kennels was "difficult," as the dogs had no access to water or food.
"It appeared that most, if not all, of the kennels hadn’t been cleaned for an extended period – if they had ever been cleaned at all. Some of the kennels were raised or had grated platforms in an apparent effort to allow feces to fall through and to the ground or floor," the report reads.
The dogs would have to lie in dried or still wet urine-feces mixture, with many having dried feces on their coats.
When officials photographed the dogs and the conditions they were living in, the sheriff's office said they seemed thrilled to have attention. Several people involved in the search had to destroy their uniforms after the excited dogs climbed on them.
All the dogs were taken to the North and South Utah Valley Animal Shelters where they were bathed and vaccinated. Several had infections and others were treated for Giardia.
The case is still active and charges against Baker and her husband are still pending.