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September 12, 2019

Authorities seize 80 dogs at “suspected puppy mill”

Photo/Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office
The kennel bred and sold Wheaten Terriers, including these three seized Wednesday afternoon, according to the sheriff’s office.
Deputies discovered many dogs in poor condition, in extremely unsanitary conditions and most had no access to water.
— Sgt. James Hartman
Fauquier County Animal Control deputies on Wednesday seized 80 dogs from “a suspected puppy mill” near Midland.

Deputies executed a search warrant “after receiving an anonymous tip,” Sgt. James Hartman said. “Deputies seized a large number of dogs in poor condition from the location on Folly Court, in the Tower Hill Road area of Fauquier County, near the Stafford County line. The owners of the facility have been charged with felonies.” 
 
The tip came “from someone who had come into contact with the facility,” Sgt. Hartman added. “The person was shown a dog to purchase and alleged the dog was noticeably not well cared for and had fleas. The information alleged the facility was breeding and dealing in Wheaten Terriers.” 
 
Kennel owner Vernine Barbara Gipstein “would not grant full access to the property to determine the welfare of the dogs,” Sgt. Hartman said. “The deputies observed numerous dogs and other things that led them to believe the dogs were not being properly cared for. The investigation also determined the facility was not properly licensed. 
 
“Deputies returned to the property a few days later at an agreed-upon time to further the investigation. When they arrived, they encountered Gipstein blocking the driveway. During the investigation Gipstein was unable to produce proper paperwork she allegedly had regarding the dogs and facility.” 
 
Animal Control Deputy Marisa Efaw continued to investigate and obtained a search warrant, executed Wednesday afternoon.

“Deputies discovered many dogs in poor condition, in extremely unsanitary conditions and most had no access to water,” Sgt. Hartman said. “Eighty dogs were seized as a result of the search warrant.  Many of the terriers were in poor health with matted, tangled fur. One terrier was found to have an exposed femur on one leg.” 
 
Deputies took the dogs to the Fauquier SPCA shelter near Casanova, “where they are being vetted and properly cared for,” the sergeant said.
 
Ms. Gipstein, 69, of Midland, faces a felony animal cruelty charge and misdemeanor possession of marijuana charge. She was released on a $3,000 unsecured bond, according to Sgt. Hartman.

Barton Mannes Gipstein, 75, of Midland, faces one count of felony animal cruelty.  He was released on a $2,500 unsecured bond.

“It is anticipated that further charges may be forthcoming,” Sgt. Hartman said.
 
“Sheriff Mosier expressed sincere thanks to the Fauquier County SPCA, Stafford County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control and to the Fauquier County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office for advice and assistance during this investigation and search warrant,” the sergeant added.
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Calypso · September 13, 2019 at 11:06 pm
I had to drive through Culpeper today on business and there is a "Puppy Store" right in town on Germanna road. I had to turn around and go in - poor dogs are clearly coming in from puppy mills - I confirmed with Middleburg's Humane Society. These people should be closed down! Not our county but its wrong!!!!!
DonkeyFarmer · September 13, 2019 at 10:47 pm
One dog had an exposed femur? Poor pups. Takes a real sicko to abuse dogs. They love you no matter what.
Sharon Wiggins · September 12, 2019 at 4:54 pm
Now the Court has to set an example. The horrific conditions these dogs suffered is not acceptable. No access to water, exposed femur (by kicking no doubt), filthy conditions. They should be ordered to pay for the care and medical costs associated with all 80 neglected, abused animals. They tried to circumvent justice, blocking deputies from their propery. Are you kidding me? Throw the book at them. Set an example Fauquier. All eyes are on you.
MissB · September 12, 2019 at 2:57 pm
If they could see the dogs were not cared for and were at risk, why did it take a few days to go back out to investigate? Why wasn't a warrant obtained right away to check on the welfare of these animals?
Billy S · September 12, 2019 at 12:08 pm
Agreed. Throw her in a cage with the same conditions that the defenseless dogs had. She should get major time in jail.
Truepat · September 12, 2019 at 12:03 pm
Now the court has to do their job......
Linda Ward · September 12, 2019 at 11:39 am
Breeding dogs for profit and not caring for them is criminal to say the least. 80 dogs!
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