Charges filed for abuse of 80 dogs

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — The Champaign County State’s Attorney has filed charges against a couple who kept more than 80 dogs in their home.

Mark and Wendy Richards face class B misdemeanor charges after Champaign County Animal Control officers found the dogs in their home on October 22.

Animal control had received a tip on October 16 from an Urbana-Champaign Sanitary District employee who “reported concerns about what sounded like a large number of dogs and a horrible smell coming from a residence in the 1300 block of Springfield Avenue,” according to a press release.

After obtaining a search warrant, officers found 84 dogs in the home.

“The dogs were flea infested and some had significant matting,” the release stated. “The home was full of urine and feces. Animal Control Officers removed the dogs over a 3 hour period.”

Officials from City Neighborhood Services came back to the home on November 1 “to determine if the home was habitable.” Officers noticed that shovels in the home looked like they had been used to “clean up the urine and feces in the home.”

They located one additional dog and a cat who was not caputred. Two dead kittens were also found in the basement.

The Richards’ relinquished their control of the dogs voluntarily on November 6.

Twenty of the dogs have been sent to a foster care organization. The remaining dogs are receiving care at the Urbana animal control facility.

“We are treating this as an animal hoarding situation,” the release stated. “We are concerned about the health and welfare of the dogs as well as the health and welfare of the people involved. If convicted, the Richardses can be ordered to obtain psychological evaluations and cooperate with recommended treatment.”

The Richardses will be arraigned in court on December 6.

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