ELLSWORTH - Stuart West, owner of Alma Bottoms Breeders, of rural Elmwood was charged in Pierce County Court Wednesday with 117 various misdemeanor counts of mistreatment of animals.
The charges stem back to Pierce County Sheriff's and the ASPCA investigation of West's farm which found 48 dogs, 35 adults and 13 puppies, reportedly held in small crates, sometimes two to a crates, with poor ventilation and hygiene. Reportedly the dogs were fed road kill animals and dead cows from nearby farms and the carcasses of dead dogs and other animals were found all over the property.
The dogs were taken from the farm last weekend to a medical facility in Golden Valley, Minn.
The state Department of Revenue had filed at least 33 cases against West in Pierce County Court since 2005 on delinquent tax warrants in an ongoing dispute. However no charges or complaints of animal cruelty or mistreatment had been filed before.
West posted a $48,000 signature bond for his release from jail provided he have no contact with animals on his property. The next court hearing in his case is scheduled for May 26.