Man charged with multiple felonies in connection with marijuana operation
Jefferson County Sheriff's Deputies arrested a Jefferson City man Wednesday morning on several felony drug citations and animal cruelty charges.
Deputies found more than 160 Malamute dogs with little to no water and their kennels full of feces. During their search, deputies also found a marijuana operation with more than 200 plants.
Mike Chilinski faces charges of felony criminal production or manufacturing of dangerous drugs, criminal possession with intent to distribute and use or possession of property subject to criminal forfeiture along with a misdemeanor animal cruelty charge.
Authorities say several additional felony animal cruelty charges are pending.
The seizure and transportation of the dogs was completed with assistance from the Humane Society of the U.S., the Lewis and Clark Humane Society, more than 20 volunteers and several local veterinarians.
All of the dogs – including about 20 puppies and 12 pregnant dogs – are being taken care of at the Lewis and Clark Humane Society. State director for the U.S. Humane Society says Chilinski sold puppies – some of which were very sick – through the internet and newspaper ads, claiming to offer show-quality dogs.
Many of the dogs were underweight, had parasites and untreated wounds. A spokesperson for the Lewis and Clark Humane Society says the dogs are now resting comfortably and settling in.
Anyone who would like to make a donation can send it to:
c/o Lewis & Clark Humane Society
PO Box 4455
Helena, MT 59604
For more information, visit the Lewis and Clark Humane Society's website.
The dogs won't be available for adoption until the criminal investigation is complete.
Story by Kristin Price, Beartooth NBC.
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