Nye County dogs recovering amid outpouring of food, support

By: - September 2, 2022 5:40 pm

Caucasian Shepherds from the breeding facility left outside for lack of shelter space. (Photo courtesy Animal Protection Affiliates.)

A Nye County unlicensed backyard breeding operation where authorities found 300 dogs, the majority of whom were starving, has been largely cleared and the dogs placed in shelters, according to animal activists. 

“This week, a mass grave was also discovered on the premises,” Annoula Wylderich of Animal Protection Affiliates said of one of the Amargosa Valley properties where dogs were discovered on August 23.  

Oskana Higgins and Vasili Platunov are charged with felony animal cruelty, according to the Nye County Sheriff. Neighbors had complained to Nye County officials about the operation in the past, according to police records.

A veterinarian in Nye County reported the neglect to authorities when she was brought an emaciated dog to be euthanized.  

On Friday afternoon Wylderich posted photos of the rescue operation. One photo shows Caucasian Shepherds left in the triple-digit desert heat for lack of shelter space. 

“They hopefully have supplemental cooling with swamp coolers by now,” Wylderich wrote Friday on Facebook.   

Wylderich says In response to the emergency need for assistance, volunteers received an  outpouring of help from around the country. The Humane Society of the United States sent a portable air conditioning unit to cool puppies found on the property and local organizations pitched in with supplies and transportation to shelters. The ASPCA is assisting with emergency sheltering, forensic exams, legal assistance, and medical and behavioral support for the Shepherds, which include puppies and pregnant dogs.

The fate of the dogs has yet to be determined, pending the outcome of legal proceedings.  

Animal Protection Affiliates has information on how to contribute food or other needs. 

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Dana Gentry
Dana Gentry

Dana Gentry is a native Las Vegan and award-winning investigative journalist. She is a graduate of Bishop Gorman High School and holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Gentry began her career in broadcasting as an intern at Channel 8, KLAS-TV. She later became a reporter at Channel 8, working with Las Vegas TV news legends Bob Stoldal and the late Ned Day. Gentry left her reporting job in 1985 to focus on motherhood. She returned to TV news in 2001 to launch "Face to Face with Jon Ralston" and the weekly business programs In Business Las Vegas and Vegas Inc, which she co-anchored with Jeff Gillan. Dana has four adult children, two grandsons, three dogs, three cats and a cockatoo named Casper.