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Update: 4 dogs, puppies returned to rightful owner in dognapping/abuse case

in Sirens

By Shereen Siewert

WAUSAU — Four adult Golden Retrievers and two litters of puppies have been reunited with their rightful owners after they were among 24 animals rescued last week from horrific conditions in a town of Harrison home.

The golden retrievers had been reported stolen or missing between three and five months before they were found, according to the Humane Society of Marathon County.

Of the animals seized Nov. 14 there were two female adult Golden Retrievers, one male adult Golden, one male adolescent Golden, one Norwegian Elkhound, one Pomeranian, one Collie, one Doberman, one potbellied pig and three cats.

Both female adult Goldens were nursing puppies when they were rescued.

Most of the animals were kept in wire cage kennels amid blankets soaked with urine and covered in feces, police said. A 3-month-old puppy was in such poor health the animal  had to be euthanized.

Kimberly Lawrence, 43, and Randy Diels, 37, are facing multiple charges connected to the animals’ discovery including intentional animal mistreatment, intentional dognapping, mistreatment of animals causing death, and other related charges.

Both are free on $5,000 signature bonds.

The Department of Agriculture and the Marathon County Sheriff’s Department are continuing their investigation into the matter.

Court documents show Marathon County filed a lawsuit Friday against Lawrence and Diels, asking a judge to order the couple to pay thousands of dollars in expenses incurred by the Humane Society of Marathon County to care for the animals. Caring for the animals is costing $350 per day, along with an initial bill of $1,800, according to court filings. Additional veterinarian bills are expected as well.

Lawrence and Diels are both due in court Dec. 14 for a pretrial conference. A preliminary hearing is set for Jan. 8.

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