The three defendants charged in what some are calling one of the worst animal cruelty cases they've ever seen had their initial court appearance Tuesday morning in Sheboygan County.
TODAY'S TMJ4 has been following this case for about four months. Sheboygan County District Attorney Joel Urmanski says all three defendants are facing a combined 113 charges.
Christy Tuchel, wearing sunglasses, along with her daughter Breanna Mikula and boyfriend Anthony Keyport, heard their charges in the courtroom. Each defendant faces 36 misdemeanors along with felonies.
Tuchel and Keyport have a mistreatment of animals felony along with mental harm to a child.
"It's a terribly sad situation, and it's obviously a serious case," said Urmanksi.
The story starts back in late June, when the sheriff's office found dozens of dogs in bad shape at the Kinship Companions Kennel in the Town of Wilson.
Another dirty secret revealed was what's described in the criminal complaint as the "big chest of death," dozens of decaying dog carcasses found in deep freezers.
Court documents say one of Tuchel’s teenage sons shed light on the misconduct. He was the only one taking care of the dogs for quite some time.
"I'm sure it took incredible courage and was not easy for the individuals in this case to come forward, but certainly I applaud anyone who comes forward to try and give information to law enforcement," said Urmanksi.
Tuchel and the other two defendants had no comment leaving the courtroom.
The preliminary hearing is on November 1st. All the dogs rescued are doing better, some are with the humane society and others are being fostered.