RENO, Nev. (News 4 & Fox 11) — Photos were circulating around social media on Wednesday morning showing dogs in cages. The photos were re-posted via SPCA of Northern Nevada on their Instagram, but a spokeswoman with SPCA said the photo was taken by Puppy Mill Free Reno/Sparks.
Jill Vacchinadobbs, Executive Director with SPCA of Northern Nevada, said:
Our primary concerns by looking at these photographs are that the animals are not having access to food and water. Nor are they having access to socialization with humans or basic enrichment.
According to Vacchinadobbs, the welfare of these animals is a top priority for them which is why their goal, along with Puppy Mill Free Reno/Sparks, is to put an end to these puppy stores.
The News 4 & Fox 11 Team reached out to the Washoe County Regional Animal Services to see if these pictures raised any alarms surrounding animal abuse.
Shyanne Schull, with Animal Services, said that the specific concerns addressed on those photos are not showing violations that are enforceable through our Nevada statute or local code.
Schull pointed out one claim made in the photos that these dogs had no water, which she said was not true.
What is not visibly clear in those photographs is that those animals do have access to water through a Lixit system which is sort of like a rabbit waterer and so those animals are being provided water all day and all night.
Michael Schneider, the owner of Puppies Plus, was at court Tuesday, Nov. 6th when a bomb threat cleared the Washoe County District Court House. While outside, the News 4 & Fox 11 Team asked Schneider's attorney, Carter King, about the photos.
King was not aware of the photos, but said this:
You know what... They probably got pictures of this or that taken out of context they don't know what was going on in the pet store they have no idea about the vets and the care and that these people love these dogs and took care of em. They are just putting up fancy pictures.
The SPCA says they will continue their fight against local puppy stores with a protest on November 29th from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., but did not give specifics as to where.