Nye County DA files more charges in alleged animal abuse case

ASPCA photo of dogs involved in animal cruelty case
ASPCA photo of dogs involved in animal cruelty case(ASPCA/FOX5)
Published: Nov. 3, 2022 at 1:43 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - The Nye County District Attorney’s Office has filed more charges in an alleged animal abuse case involving hundreds of dogs.

The DA’s office said Vasily Platunov and Oksana Higgins now face 18 counts of animal cruelty. Originally, the pair faces five counts each. Platunov and Higgins each now face a maximum of as much 28-72 years in prison, the DA’s office said.

“We’ve reviewed this case very carefully and continued to work on it as more evidence came in and the picture became clearer,” Nye County District Attorney Chris Arabia said in a news release. “We’ve discussed it extensively with some of the top animal cruelty experts in the country and this is the right number of counts. With the surviving dogs heading out of Nevada, it was the right time to amend the complaint to include additional charges.”

Many of the dogs were moved by the ASPCA to a rehab center in Ohio.

Now, the Nye County DA’s office alleges that they took complaints about the condition of the dogs involved to the Nye County Sheriff’s Office months before Platunov and Higgins were arrested.

According to Arabia, Platunov was issued fines regarding the dogs’ condition and paid about $7,500. The dogs stayed at his facility for another 9 months before Platunov’s arrest.

Arabia said a Nye Animal Control Officer had asked NCSO to refer charges to the DA’s office on Feb. 20, 2022. Arabia said NCSO followed up on April 19, 2022 with a report, but not an arrest. Arabia said he followed up with the NCSO Deputy on May 2, 2022 to take over the case.

“That NCSO Deputy assured the DA’s Office in May, June, and July of 2022 that there was no animal cruelty and nothing necessitating the filing of criminal charges,” a news release said.