Indiana ranchers face nearly 2 dozen animal cruelty charges
When Julia Gray learned that the dogs were going to be seized, she reportedly made a comment that “it didn’t matter, she would just find more dogs and keep breeding”.
PUTNAM COUNTY, Indiana — Owners of a dog breeding business in Putnam County are facing more than two dozen animal cruelty charges after investigators found two dogs dead and 33 others who suffered from severe malnutrition on the property of the owners.
James Gray, 55, and his sister Julia Gray, 60, both Brazilians, are accused of keeping dogs in ‘deplorable conditions’ at their German Shepherd breeding business Vom Greystone Guardians, located at 7501 South County Road 800 West.
The investigation began on September 8, after Julia called animal control asking for help getting food for several dogs at the address.
An animal control officer attended the address and found several malnourished dogs and, what the documents describe as, a “severely emaciated dog” in a field on the property. This dog was taken to a veterinary clinic, where he had to be put down.
Deputies served a search warrant on the company the next day.
When they arrived, according to the documents, the first thing they noticed was a German Shepherd following James and Julia.
An MP took a picture of the dog, noting he looked ‘severely emaciated with his ribs clearly visible’. The MP also said the dog was covered in feces and had flies around it.
Deputies searched the property and came across a large shed at the end of the driveway.
They heard dogs barking, opened the door and found 11 German Shepherds piled on top of each other in small cages. The shed smelled of feces and urine, according to documents. There was no food or water inside the cages.
The dog closest to the entrance was dead in a cage. Documents indicate that the dog was covered in flies, had rigor mortis and had already begun to decompose.
The rest of the dogs appeared “severely emaciated”.
Deputies called a vet for help, who said three of the dogs were severely anemic and had a low chance of survival. The vet “immediately” took these dogs to his office for emergency care, documents show.
Documents also indicate that Julia “frequently smiled and even laughed, as the crews attempted to deal with the dogs.”
Deputies captured a photo of this which was included in court documents.
Another shed was found at the start of the driveway. Dogs could be heard barking inside and deputies said the shed had no ventilation holes or visible windows.
Deputies opened the shed and again noticed the smell of feces and urine. It was also extremely hot inside the hangar. Deputies said a thermostat inside the shed showed it was 96 degrees.
There were five dogs inside the shed that were locked in small cages. They had no food or water and they were all malnourished, according to court documents. One of the dogs was a Rottweiler covered in urine.
PHOTOS: Dogs rescued from ‘deplorable conditions’ at Putnam County breeder
After searching this shed, deputies found an outside sleeping area for either Julia or James.
Inside there were more dogs, these were German Shepherd dogs and puppies. The animal control officer said these dogs were not on the property the day before the search. Investigators believe Julia and James brought them from their home in Brazil, Indiana, during the night or early morning hours on September 9.
There were also three other dogs in a van parked next to the dorms.
The only dog on the property that was not severely malnourished was a blue hooker who Julia said was her service dog.
Documents say deputies also found a third, smaller shed containing various building materials and furniture. James told investigators they planned to convert it into a home for more dogs.
When Julia learned that all the dogs were going to be seized, according to documents, she made a comment that “it didn’t matter, she would just find more dogs and keep breeding.”
In total, there were 36 dogs on the property. Two of them died. Police seized 33 and left the blue heel, noting it was the only dog that did not appear malnourished or emaciated.
At this point, investigators called for help from multiple agencies. The Reelsville Fire Department brought drinking water for the dogs because, according to documents, there were several water dispensers at the facility, but none of them had drinking water.
The German Shepherd Dogs and Siberian Husky Rescue of Owen County took four of the German Shepherd puppies to their facility and the remaining 26 dogs were taken to Putnam County Animal Care and Control for temporary placement. .
According to the sheriff’s office, the dogs that were seized likely won’t be available for adoption anytime soon, but the department has encouraged people to adopt other dogs and cats from a local animal shelter who are in desperate need of homes. .
Cash donations can be made through the Putnam County Animal Care and Control Venmo Accountand here an Amazon page created to buy food and supplies.
The sheriff’s office said the funds raised will be distributed fairly “to ensure the dogs receive as much care as possible.”
Those in a position to donate a kennel or have questions about donations should contact Tammy Eastham via email at [email protected]