2 facing animal cruelty charges after 32 Great Danes, some ‘near death,’ rescued from VA home

State - Regional

KING AND QUEEN COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Authorities say two people are facing animal cruelty charges after dozens of dogs, some near death, were found at a King and Queen County home in late August.

Deputies rescued the 20 dogs and 12 puppies from the home on Owens Mill Rd. in St. Stephens Church during a search warrant on Aug. 27. The owners, Richard Awlasewicz and Candice Wheat, were arrested on felony animal cruelty charges.

Candice Wheat (left) and Richard Awlasewicz (right)

According to deputies, five of the dogs were found barricaded inside a dilapidated camper, where they had no food and water and were covered in feces and urine.

The other dogs were inside the residence with no water and very little food, the sheriff’s office said. The state health department and the county zoning office responded to the home, where they found several health, safety, and zoning issues.

The dogs are currently being held at the King William Regional Animal Shelter.

A hearing to determine if the dogs will be returned to Awlasewicz and Wheat is scheduled for Sept. 20.


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