Puppy found dead on chain, 2 dozen dogs rescued from suspected breeding operation in Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- "It just disgusts me so much. It's just sad. I'm tired of looking at stuff like this all the time," said a frustrated Kate Quigley, the director of the animal outreach group, Chain Of Hope.

On Thursday Quigley said they received an anonymous phone call about a disturbing find on the side of what appears to be a vacant house near East 83rd Terrace and Troost in Kansas City.

"We saw it right away, and it was laying there dead," Quigley said.

She's talking about a female, shepherd-mix puppy they found dead in a backyard.

"She looks to be less than a year old. I lifted its head back, and I could see it had an embedded collar in its neck, and so it died like that," Quigley said.

Right now, Quigley isn't sure how long the puppy was left in the yard.

"It was tied in that backyard, so whether those people still live there or not, I don't know," she said.

"I'm sure that's the same dog that I saw, you know, running up and down the street," neighbor Bethany Oliver said. "That's just unacceptable. Like, how could you let an animal end up like that? It's just unbelievable and sad."

Earlier Thursday in South Kansas City, animal control officers seized two dozen dogs from a suspected breeding operation near East 93rd Street and Bannister Road. They were taken to KC Pet Project's animal shelter. A spokesperson for the shelter says the 12 pit bull mixes and 12 puppies were "in pretty bad shape."

KC Project took video of the rescue and shared it with FOX 4. Rescuers say the dogs were covered in mud, feces and several had nasty, skin infections.

The dogs' owner wouldn't tell Fox 4's Robert Townsend his name, and the man hid behind his front door when he talked to Townsend. He also denies running a breeding operation.

"I raised these dogs since birth," the owner said. "My dogs are show dogs. I've been showing them for 30 years. I wouldn't abuse them."

Meantime, KC Pet Project also says raw sewage and other unsanitary conditions were found in the man's backyard. The group suspects the dogs and puppies lived in these conditions for months.

A spokesperson for Kansas City Animal Control say the dogs' owner could be cited for the unsanitary conditions and may ultimately face misdemeanor animal cruelty charges.

"I would love to get them back, but they say they're not gonna give them back to me without me spending an arm and a leg to get them back," the dogs' owner said.

"We need neighbors watching out for stuff like this, and people cannot be so complacent," Quigley said. "People always say it's not their business or whatever. It is your business."