Neighbors complained about kennel at center of Nye County animal cruelty case for years, records show

Records show there were years of complaints against the breeder at the center of the Nye County animal abuse case.
Published: Aug. 30, 2022 at 11:17 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Records show there were years of complaints against the breeder at the center of the Nye County animal abuse case.

In 2010, Vasili Platunov received a permit to have 30 dogs to train and sell on his property in Pahrump.

Platunov said in a 2010 letter that Est-Alfa security services LLC specialized in professional security canine services in a wide range of public and private sectors.

The dog breeder’s property on Camillia Street in Pahrump, which is full of cages set up for the dogs, now sits empty. Since at least 2015 county records show neighbors have been ringing the bell about noise and too many dogs on the limited area of land.

“No one’s doing anything. This is years and years of this. This man is just thumbing his nose at everybody, the law, something needs to be done now,” a neighbor said in a February 2020 Nye County Commissioners meeting.

In 2015, Platunov filed an application to increase the number of Russian Caucasian Shepherds on the property in Pahrump from 30 to 130.

Leading up to the planning commission meeting in 2015, a number of neighbors sent letters urging against allowing more dogs. They said Platunov already had many more than the 30 allowed.

The county denied Platunov’s application and said it was, “based upon the failure to comply with the following original conditions of approval.”

In 2016, county commissioners then gave him six months to get the number of dogs back down to 30.

Platunov went on to appeal the ruling and asked for two years to move the animals. He later filed a lawsuit, commissioners said.

In 2018, commissioners voted to take legal action since the breeder was not complying.

“I’m not going to go through the litany, I just know my neighbors over there are besides themselves. So may I motion to please move this forward so we can get those dogs moved,” former Nye County Commissioner Dan Schinhofen said in the 2018 meeting.

Eventually, Platunov purchased more land in Amargosa Valley, where the sheriff’s office said they recovered more than 250 dogs last week.

The attorney representing Platunov said his client has been trying to work with the county to find a solution.

“They were supposed to be helping the situation and if it was as dire as they say it is, then someone from the county has a lot of explaining to do,” Attorney Thomas Gibson said.

FOX5 asked the Nye County District Attorney’s office why no charges were filed sooner. The district attorney said the sheriff’s office didn’t say there were issues at the property.

Nye County Sheriff’s captain David Boruchowitz told FOX5 code compliance cases were filed previously, but only more recently were there complaints of animal abuse.

Boruchowitz said this spring the department sent a request for a criminal case to the DA, but no action was taken until this month.

Platunov and Oksana Higgins are accused of keeping nearly 300 dogs in deplorable conditions at two properties in Nye County: one in Pahrump and one in Amargosa Valley. The pair made their first appearance in Nye County District Court Monday morning.

The pair is facing more than 30 felony animal abuse charges.