ASPCA Assists Pepin County Sheriff’s Office in Rescue of Nearly 90 Dogs from Breeding Operation in Wisconsin

The rescued dogs will be relocated to a recovery center operated by the ASPCA to receive medical and behavioral care
June 7, 2023

Pepin, Wis.­ – At the request of the Pepin County Sheriff’s Office, the ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is assisting with the rescue of nearly 90 dogs and puppies from a breeding operation approximately 70 miles southeast of Minneapolis. When investigators arrived on scene, they found dogs of varying breeds and sizes, including puppies and pregnant dogs living in unsanitary conditions. Two horses and five donkeys were also found on scene. Some of the animals had dirty hair coats and appeared to be suffering from untreated medical issues requiring immediate veterinary treatment.

The ASPCA is assisting with operational planning and animal removal and transport, evidence collection and crime scene processing, investigative and legal support, forensics exams and behavior evaluations, and providing the dogs with sheltering, medical and behavioral care, and enrichment. The dogs removed from the property today are being relocated to a recovery center operated by the ASPCA until disposition is determined. 

“The Pepin County Sheriff’s Office strives to protect and preserve all forms of life within the borders of Pepin County. This case has been ongoing for some time, and unfortunately today we removed nearly 90 dogs to protect them from future danger of medical issues and unsanitary conditions,” said Pepin County Sheriff Joel Wener. “I would like to thank ASPCA and their staff for their help, along with the hard work of deputies and detectives of the Pepin County Sheriff’s Office to hopefully bring an end to this case.”

"When the ASPCA became aware of the poor conditions these animals were living in, it was clear that intervention was necessary, and we thank the Pepin County Sheriff’s Office for their partnership in ending these animals’ suffering and bringing them to safety,” said ASPCA President & CEO Matt Bershadker. “We’re proud to provide our resources and expertise in this case and in all of our rescue work nationwide to help animals in crisis find the critical and compassionate care they need and deserve.”

The ASPCA is also providing investigative and legal assistance to further support the investigation and to ensure the best legal outcome for these animals.

The ASPCA’s response has been made possible thanks to the generous support of the Alex & Elisabeth Lewyt Charitable Trust. The ASPCA deploys nationally to assist local authorities in animal cruelty and neglect cases including animal fighting, hoarding, and puppy mills. It also provides local communities with resources including grant funding, training, and subject matter expertise to effectively assist animals during cruelty and disaster situations.