Thursday, December 8, 2016

Oregon: Authorities seize 11 dogs from breeders Evelyn Maas and Shirley Stephenson; filthy conditions cited

OREGON -- Two Veneta women are accused of violating city code and state animal laws by having as many as 28 dogs inside a squalid house on East Hunter Road.

Authorities seized 11 dogs Tuesday from the residence of Evelyn Maas and Shirley Stephenson after a search warrant affidavit was filed in Lane County Circuit Court last week. No arrests have been made.

According to her website, Stephenson owns and operates Monet French Bulldogs, a breeding business, out of the property. Her Facebook page lists a number of puppies available for sale, and her show dogs.


The dogs seized by authorities include Chinese Cresteds, Shih Tzus, a Whippet, a Bull Terrier, a Poodle and a French Bulldog.

The alleged violations came to the attention of the Oregon Humane Society’s investigations department, the city of Veneta’s code enforcement officer and the Lane County Sheriff’s Office last week. Authorities from the agencies went to the address and found poor sanitary conditions, the affidavit states.

Sheriff’s deputy Mark Nelson reported he could smell urine and feces at least 20 feet from the house.

Feces were “several inches thick” in most of the house, the affidavit states. There were “no clean areas” in the house, with garbage and papers scattered throughout, the document states.

The carpeted stairs were “encrusted” with feces, the affidavit states.

Authorities initially observed several dogs inside the home. As many as 28 were there the week before the search warrant was served and the dogs were seized, the affidavit states.

Two were in a fifth-wheel trailer on the property, which also was allegedly covered with urine, feces and garbage.

Nelson asked the women about the dogs, and “they both said they didn’t know and acted surprised that there was a dog in there,” the affidavit states.

The dogs appeared to be healthy, the affidavit states, but didn’t have access to clean water and weren’t believed to be under proper veterinary care.

Veneta city code bars a resident from having more than three adult dogs at one house. The conditions at the property constituted second-degree animal neglect, a violation of state law, the affidavit said

Stephenson was sued in Lane County Circuit Court in 2015 by the Veneta Veterinary Hospital for alleged unpaid bills that totaled more than $1,000. A judge ordered her to pay the debt.

The dogs were taken out of the area by the Ore­gon Humane Society.

(Register Guard - Nov 21, 2016)

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