‘Serious Danger’ at Breeding Facility As 120+ Cats and 6 Dogs Rescued

More than 120 cats and six dogs were reportedly found in ‘serious danger’ due to unsanitary and unsafe conditions at a breeding facility.

The U.S. Office of the Attorney General has filed a lawsuit against the operators of this facility for violations of the Animal Welfare Act.

The Animal Welfare Act (AWA) is a federal law in the United States designed to protect animals from neglect and abuse.

Photo: Pexels
The Animal Welfare Act (AWA) is a federal law in the United States designed to protect animals from neglect and abuse.

Animal Welfare Act Violations

Elena Mikirticheva and Andrey Mikirtichev, who ran the facility at 3001 Bensley Rd. in Chesterfield, Virginia, were found in possession of approximately 129 cats and six dogs. This facility had been operating under an Animal Welfare Act license, provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The USDA initially suspended their license two months earlier, citing multiple violations, such as inadequate veterinary care, lack of records for animal acquisition and disposition, and inadequate housing, among others, WRIC reports.

Dealers and breeders of animals must be licensed and comply with AWA standards.

Photo: Pexels
Dealers and breeders of animals must be licensed and comply with AWA standards.

Inadequate Care and Tragic Loss

One heart-wrenching incident involved a male brown tabby kitten born with a malformed chest. As WRIC reports, instead of seeking professional help, Andrey Mikirtichev attempted to realign the chest cavity with a toilet paper tube, which led to further health issues for the animal.

The kitten eventually died due to respiratory distress.

Unsanitary and Unsafe Conditions

According to multiple news reports, the animals at this facility were allegedly subjected to unsanitary and unsafe conditions, which put their lives in jeopardy. The case cited housing incompatible cats together and confining animals in tiny enclosures. Furthermore, the defendants were accused of using expired Russian medication to treat the animals and delaying their treatment, reports NBC12.

The law imposes penalties, including fines and imprisonment, for non-compliance with the Animal Welfare Act.

Photo: Pexels
The law imposes penalties, including fines and imprisonment, for non-compliance with the Animal Welfare Act.

Legal Action and Ongoing Investigation

While it is currently a civil matter, the owners have not yet faced criminal charges.

The future of this case depends on the defendants’ response. If they don’t reply, it could proceed as a default judgment, potentially leading to the closure of the business. Criminal charges may be considered depending on the ongoing investigation, WRIC reports.

The incident underscores the significance of stringent regulations and monitoring in breeding facilities to ensure the welfare and safety of animals. The welfare of these cats and dogs now depends on the legal proceedings and the thoroughness of the ongoing investigation.

If you wish to contribute to the ongoing efforts to support the rescued animals and promote animal welfare, sign our petition calling for stronger deterrents for animal abuse. Together, we can be a voice for the voiceless and ensure that stories like this serve as a catalyst for positive change in the world of animal welfare.

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Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, spending time with his daughters, and coffee.
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