The outdoor pens were overgrown with grasses and weeds. Source: Josh Gauntt
Source: Josh Gauntt/WBRC
One of the dogs living in an outside pen. Source: Josh Gauntt/WBRC
Inside the house, reporter Josh Gauntt found numerous crates occupied by dogs. Source: Josh Gauntt/WBRC
Four people associated with the camp were arrested on drug charges. Source: Fayette Co. Sheriff's Office
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -
Fayette County drug agents say they raided the Tuscaloosa K-9 camp on Wednesday.
The Fayette County District Attorney says the drug agents executed search warrants at the K-9 Academy in Berry and drugs and contraband were discovered.
The 24th Judicial Task Force spent the past two days executing warrants at the camp. They also arrested four people, including the owner, Heather Litz, and a trainer, Bryan McQueen.
Litz, McQueen, Charles Vance and Nancy Vance are all charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphenalia.
Authorities found over 120 animals living at the camp and are taking 20 of them away to be cared for by a veterinarian. The Alabama Humane Society was also present Thursday.
The task force says animal cruelty charges may be filed in the coming days.
FOX6 News took a tour of the inside of the house and one room is filled with crated dogs. Outside, we found dogs inside pens with overgrown grass and weeds.
FOX6 spoke to one of the dog's owner, who came to pick up his dog Thursday. Chris Walston says he has never seen the place until today. He says he met the camp's owners at an obedience class held at a pet store in Tuscaloosa. He then decided to send his dog Bongo to have obedience training at the camp.
He tells us that he is disgusted by what he saw.
"When I first saw him, he was in a crate with feces in the bottom of it," Walston said. So he was basically standing in his own crap."
Walston says he tried to visit once but says the camp owners told him it wasn't recommended so he didn't come by.
"I felt bad that I put my dog through this situation," Walston said. "I can't believe how many dogs they have crammed in here and the living conditions. [My dog] has been here a week and a half and it looks like he's definitely lost some weight."
Investigators say they found a number of cats and goats on the property as well. Investigators say this raid is the culmination of a month-long investigation and it's far from over.
Authorities say that if owners want to come get their dogs, they need to contact the Fayette County Sheriff's Office at 205-932-3205 and bring paperwork proving ownership with them.
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