The owners of a dog kennel in Sheboygan County reportedly shot and killed dogs, and left them to be eaten by wild animals, according to police documents.
Two weeks ago, 37 dogs were saved from the Kinship Companions Kennel in Sheboygan County.
The former owners now face animal cruelty charges. The surviving dogs are getting a second chance at life but unfortunately, dozens of other dog carcasses were found in deep freezers on the property.
Community members have wanted this kennel shut down for years, with numerous complaints, calls and police reports dating back to 2011. TODAYS TMJ4 was able to obtain a number of those documents and the details are disturbing.
A former employee at the kennel said the owners just didn't care.
"It got gradually worse and worse," he said.
He's one of many people who complained about the kennel in the town of Wilson over the last 30 months. From a February 2015 police report, the former employee told police during his time there he saw two freezers on the property filled with dogs, adding, "one freezer was full of adult dogs and a second was full of puppies," that died on the property.
He said when the freezers would fill up some of the animals would be put in a burn pit on the property or buried in a dumpster. Others were euthanized by owners. The former employee stated the owners would shoot the dogs, “leaving the dead animals in a field to be eaten by wild animals."
Two weeks ago the sheriff's office said there wasn't enough credible information about animal neglect to obtain a search warrant until three weeks ago.
Sheriff Todd Priebe said the former employee's information wasn't credible because, "The informant's credibility was jeopardized because at the time he gave his statement he was being investigated for another crime within that same household."
We checked with Angela Speed of the Wisconsin Humane Society, who said, "a gunshot used as a routine method of euthanasia is not a legal method of euthanasia."
We went to the owners' home to ask them about it but no one wanted to talk.
"Can you get off my property?" a woman said outside of the house.
Priebe wishes the situation had a better ending when authorities visited the location earlier. He said in 2015 officers did check two freezers in plain sight at that time during a scheduled visit and found nothing.
He says officers later found two other freezer chests hidden under dog food bags. That's where the carcasses were found.
Investigators say they expect charges to be filed later this week.