More than a week after his dogs were seized a Hurley breeder now faces 173 charges. Fifty-five-year-old Dan Christensen is accused of inhumane treatment to animals.
The Humane Society of the United States and Second Chance Rescue Center raided his property last Wednesday and took the 172 dogs in question.
South Dakota state law says inhumane treatment is considered torture, cruelty, neglect or abandonment of an animal. And according to the charges filed Thursday, investigators say that applies to the dogs found on Christensen's property.
The investigation started weeks ago. But Thursday, the breeder who had 172 dogs on his property in Hurley now faces charges for the conditions they were found in.
The dogs are still being held at the Turner County Fairgrounds, which officials say is an improvement over the conditions they were being kept in just a week ago.
"It's nice to go down there and see them. They've got clean bedding, they got clean water, every day, fresh food," Rosey Quinn of Second Chance Rescue said.
The charges are all class one misdemeanors, carrying a maximum sentence of one year in the county jail. Quinn, who began the investigation, says Christensen's fate is now up to the legal system.
And for the past week, she says investigators have been doing what they think is necessary to make sure these dogs have a safe place to stay in the future.
"Bottom line is we need to do what's best for the dogs. Maybe it's education on his part, maybe it's new homes for these guys. I don't know but we'll just keep going forward and see what we come up with," Quinn said.
Christensen's son also faced charges, but those were dropped Thursday afternoon. The dogs will stay out at the fairgrounds until the entire legal process runs it course.
The dogs are also multiplying; 20 have been born over the past week.