The Hurley dog breeder at the center of a major raid in September is speaking out. Dan Christensen was in a Turner County courtroom Friday where a judge gave him custody of nearly 100 puppies born after that raid.
Just over 170 dogs were taken from Christensen's property more than two months ago and placed under the care of the Second Chance Rescue Center. Christensen says he's never abused or neglected any of his dogs, but he's charged with 173 counts of doing just that. He's fighting to get the dogs back because he says they are better off in his care.
"We've never done anything wrong. These people came in from Florida and Maryland and took our dogs," Christensen said.
The dogs were first held at the Turner County Fairgrounds and then were transferred to the Minnehaha County Fairgrounds.
"They're kept in small confined areas. My adult dogs at the fairgrounds have never seen daylight since they've taken them. They've been locked in a building. This is good care? I don't think so," Christensen said.
That's why Christensen asked to get custody of the nearly 100 puppies that were born after the raid. It was a request that was granted.
"We're just concerned we don't know where any of the puppies are. We just can't get the information and they are still our animals," Christensen said.
Christensen's attorney, Brian Radke, said in court Friday that veterinarian reports now show some of the dogs have the parvo virus, and he fears for the dogs safety.
"They never had this disease when I had them, and now they do, and that's from their own veterinarians inspecting them," Christensen said.
Christensen does want to thank the foster families who have taken in some of his dogs.
Judge Tami Bern said Friday that Christensen will only get the puppies that are old enough to be weaned off their mother.