The woman at the center of an animal neglect investigation in Pine County made an unannounced visit to the shelter last week that ended with a call to the Pine County sheriff's office. On Thursday, her lawyer was back to inspect the dogs in effort to get them back.
When Animal Humane Society agents in Pine County inspected animals belonging to Kathleen Doenz's back on Sept. 12, they found deplorable living conditions.
"It was pretty bad. Certainly I've been involved in just a few of these, but certainly the worst I've seen," Pine County Chief Deputy Steven Blackwell said.
Officials seized a dozen malnourished horses, 21 neglected dogs and scores of ducks chickens. Two horses had to be put down while the dogs were brought to Guardian Angel Shelter.
Tracy Clymer with Guardian Angel Shelter told FOX 9 News many of the dogs have made improvements.
"These guys are eating twice what a full weight specimen type would eat per day," Clymer said.
The seizure was supposed to include five dogs, but that turned out to be 21. Two weeks later, that number has grown to 24 after one of the mixed breeds gave birth to a litter of six, but only three survived because the mother may have been malnourished.
Doenz has yet to be charged in this case, but and its' not the first time she's has been in trouble for failing to care for her animals. According to a 2006 case in which she was charged with 35 counts of animal neglect, Doenz has a history of legal intimidation, including threatening to sue anyone who reported her to authorities.
On Thursday, Doenz was at it again, insisting her lawyer inspect the dogs in their fight to have them returned.
Escorted by Pine County deputies, Doenz's attorney Robert Richman visited the venue where the dogs were being kept and photographed them, but until prosecutors make formal charges, Clymer says there is a limit to the level of medical care they can receive.
Richman did not comment on Doenz's understanding of the animals' conditions.
After Oct. 4, the dogs can be placed in foster care or put up for adoption.