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50 animal cruelty charges filed against two siblings after Putnam Co. dog seizure

putnam county dog seized
Posted at 7:55 PM, Sep 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-23 19:55:56-04

PUTNAM COUNTY — A brother and sister face 25 counts each of animal cruelty in connection to an investigation earlier this month.

On Sept. 9, 33 dogs — 32 German Shepherds and one rottweiler — were found in "deplorable conditions" on a property owned by Julia and James Gray in the 7500 block of South County Road 800 West. Authorities say James and Julia own a dog breeding company called Vom Greystone Guardians.

According to a probable cause affidavit, an animal control officer did an animal welfare check on the property on Sept. 8. The affidavit says Julia Gray contacted authorities and said she needed help getting food for "several dogs." The officer that responded found several malnourished dogs and one "severely emaciated dog" that was later put down because its injuries were nonrecoverable.

Documents say Julia gave verbal consent for Animal Control and Deputies to go on the property, where several dogs were found in different locations.

The next day, Sept. 9, a search warrant was granted for a property. Authorities found 11 emaciated German Shepherds locked in small cages, some of which were stacked on top of each other. The affidavit says all of the dogs and cages were covered in feces and urine and there was no food or water in the cages.

Five other dogs were found in a different shed with no visible ventilation or air conditioning. One thermometer recorded the indoor temperature as 96 degrees.

19 other dogs were found in and around "a make shift living quarters on the property," according to the affidavit. 18 out of the 19 dogs were emaciated.

The affidavit says none of the dogs had access to food or water.

"When Mrs. Gray learned that we were seizing all of the German Shepherds, she made the comment that it didn't matter, she would just find more dogs and continue breeding," the affidavit read.

In total, 36 dogs were found on the property. Two were dead and a third dog, a Blue Heeler, was claimed as Julia's service dog, according to court documents. The Blue Heeler was left with Julia Gray, and the affidavit says that dog did not appear malnourished or emaciated like the other dogs.

The Humane Society of Putnam County says the German Shepherds have been placed in rescue and will not be available for adoption for several months since they are part of an ongoing criminal investigation.

An initial hearing for both James and Julia Gray is scheduled for October 5.