The Penske truck the couple left the dogs in. (Courtesy of KHOU-TV)
One of the rescued Yorkies. (Courtesy of KHOU-TV)
Another rescued Yorkie. (Courtesy of KHOU-TV)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -
A Las Vegas couple has been arrested in Santa Fe, TX and charged with animal cruelty after police discovered they had left four dogs in a moving truck in squalid conditions.
According to the Santa Fe Police Department, the incident began as a call about an intoxicated person. Police located Joseph Lyle Bakkedahl, 36, of Las Vegas and charged him with possession of synthetic marijuana.
Bakkedahl mentioned to police that he had used a Penske moving truck to relocate from Las Vegas to Santa Fe a few days prior.
Police had earlier in the day received a call from a Santa Fe business, alerting them to two intoxicated persons who asked if they could park their moving truck in front of the business for a week.
Police located the moving truck and could hear animals whimpering in the back. They opened the truck by cutting a lock and located four small dogs in crates in the rear of the truck.
Police said the truck was hot, had no ventilation and had flies buzzing around in it. The crates were filled with feces and urine. The dogs, all Yorkies, one of which is pregnant, were in poor condition and were provided with neither food nor water.
The dogs were taken by animal control.
Police later located Bakkedahl's wife, Kristine Joan Fisher, 44, also of Las Vegas, and arrested her on animal cruelty charges.
Police believe the couple intended to abandon the dogs in the moving truck. According to Penske, the truck was two weeks overdue and was in the process of being reported stolen.
The couple could be facing charges related to the Penske truck in addition to animal cruelty charges.
The couple's former neighbor in Las Vegas, Russell Johnson, told FOX5 he was not surprised to learn the dogs were abused.
"They went through two generations of dogs in there… they had puppies, and they never let the dogs out of that house. I don't know why they kept the dogs, because they were incapable of taking care of themselves," Johnson told FOX5.
Johnson said the couple moved out from across the hall at their apartment complex near Charleston and Decatur boulevards at the end of October.
While they were packing, Johnson said he noticed one of their bags was moving.
"I said, ‘Do you have one of the dogs in there?' And they said, ‘Yeah;' and I said, ‘Well, the dog is going crazy! You've got to get it out.' And they said, ‘Aw, we're going pretty soon, don't worry about it,'" Johnson said.
Johnson got involved and took the dog out of the bag.
"I held it until they left, and they put it right back in the bag," Johnson said.
Meanwhile, one veterinarian told FOX5 it should never have to come down to abandoning dogs in such a way.
"There are many facilities around town that take in homeless dogs. I mean, the shelters are full, but if the option is throwing the dog in the street, they will take the animal in," said Terry Muratore, a veterinarian with Legacy Animal Hospital in Henderson.
Copyright 2012 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
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