SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (WHBL) – The three people charged after authorities uncovered a large puppy mill in the Town of Wilson last summer will be in court next Monday. A Plea hearing is planned for Christy Tuchel, Breanna Mikula, and Anthony Keyport – just one week after the Sheboygan County Humane Society sends the three a bill for $170,000 for caring for the 36 dogs that were rescued from the property…. A 2 day jury trial is scheduled on the matter on Feb. 20 and 21.
Three people are facing 38 charges each for their role in the discovery of dozens of sick and dead dogs at the former Kinship Kennels in the Town of Wilson. The Sheboygan County District Attorney’s Office has charged the owner, Christy Tuchel, Anthony Keyport, and Breanna Mikula for not properly caring for the dogs that were discovered on the property on June 29th.
Court Documents released late Friday in Sheboygan county court offer only a tiny glimpse of what these animals endured after Town of Wilson revoked the conditional use permit to operate as a Kennel in 2014. The 16 year old who was forced to care for the dogs told authorities that he’d been put in charge two to three years ago, and that the owner, Christy Tuchel, hadn’t been on the property in years, because it would trigger her PTSD. The teenager said he was solely responsible for feeding and caring for the dogs at the kennel.
Investigators learned that after the conditional use permit was revoked, they weren’t able to buy food to feed the dogs, but from time to time, BreAnna Mikula would drop off food at the kennel, but not often. The teen recalled a day where he could only give the dogs a small, pink measuring cup of food rather than a big scoop full. He was told to feed the dogs even less, and his requests for food for the dogs often went unanswered by the owner and her daughter BreAnna.
The teen recalls a day in February of 2017, where one of the dogs got out of its kennel, tried digging through a wall, hit a water line, and flooded the kennel, causing six dogs to drown. He told officers that the dogs were put in a freezer along with other dogs that had starved to death. The freezers were no longer working, and the owners were “too damn lazy to get a digger in and bury them.” When the Sheriff’s Department finally located these chest freezers, they were filled to the top, with dozens of decomposing dogs. When the teen was asked about the dogs in what he called the “Chest of Death”, He asked “it’s hell isn’t it?” adding that the first time he had to put a dog in the freezer was “a nightmare.”
36 sickly dogs were rescued from the rundown kennel that day, a place that reeked of ammonia from dog urine, bedding completely soiled with waste, and large rodents running around inside the building. The Humane Society Veterinarian examined the dogs, finding all of them in very poor condition, all malnourished, many with more severe health issues.
The teen expressed his love for the dogs, but hated that the family had so many of them – saying he’d become very depressed watching the dogs suffer, pleading with the family for help, wondering if he, too, suffered from PTSD, saying he lived in fear, was being blackmailed by Tuchel and Mikula, losing nights of sleep over the situation, and becoming physically ill over it, and would refused to put the animals down when he was instructed to do so.
The dogs have been under the care of the Sheboygan County Humane Society since the day they were rescued from the former kennel, their health has improved, and, on July 25, filed a lawsuit against the Humane Society and the District Attorney’s office, saying the dogs were “improperly taken” and “wrongfully withheld” by Sheboygan County.
Each of the defendants in the case is facing more than 25 years in prison and over $100,000 in fines if they’re found guilty.
by Jon DeMaster