Puppies found in freezer at Nye County dog ​​breeder’s estate

PAHRUMP, Nev. (KTNV) — An investigator says dozens of puppies were found in a freezer during a search of properties associated with a Nye County dog ​​breeder.

Vasili Platunov and Oskana Higgins, who operated the Est-Alfa kennel, will face 33 animal cruelty charges.

Both men appeared in court on Monday morning after their arrests last week. At the time, Nye County Sheriff’s Deputies announced that approximately 300 dogs had been seized during an investigation into allegations of animal cruelty.

A search found the animals were malnourished and in poor condition, officials said.

300 dogs seized from Nye County property; breeders arrested for cruelty to animals

As 13 Investigates previously reported, the Est-Alfa kennel is one of the only Caucasian Shepherd dog kennels in the country. Platunov kept dogs at a property in Pahrump before a legal dispute led him to move most of them to another property in the Amargosa Valley, where deputies searched last week.

The 300 dogs seized as a result of this search came after more than two dozen dogs were rescued from Est-Alfa in late April. Many of these dogs are said to be malnourished, weighing around 55-60 pounds for a breed that normally weighs between 150-200 pounds.

INQUIRY: Malnourished dogs rescued from Nye County breeder

Arrest of a dog breeder

Desert Refuge Animal Society

Photos shared with KTNV showed the conditions of around two dozen dogs seized from properties operated by Nye County dog ​​breeder Vasili Platunov earlier this year.

Animal Control has been called to Platunov properties at least a dozen times since 2019, Nye County calls for service records obtained by 13 investigators showed. A source with direct knowledge of the situation told KTNV that Platunov had been cited for cruelty and for the care and conditions at his kennel in recent months.

Reporter Joe Moeller is in Nye County on Monday as we learn more about the allegations against Platunov. Watch 13 Action News at 5 and 6 p.m. for more on this developing story.