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Charges filed in Costilla County animal cruelty case

For 103 dogs, including five litters of puppies, suffering in unimaginable conditions, the determination of eight organizations that came together in June and rescued them was the difference between life and death.

A grim scene awaited teams from the Dumb Friends League, the Costilla County Sheriff’s office, Adams County Animal Services, Ark Valley Humane, Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region, Noah’s Ark Animal Welfare Organization, Park County Animal Control, and Summit County Animal Control and Shelter when they arrived at the house outside of Mesita, Colorado.

For seven intense hours on-site, teams rescued starving dogs, injured and sick dogs, aggressive dogs, dogs with no socialization and dogs in filthy metal cages that were too small for their size out in the hot summer heat, as well as found two deceased dogs.

On September 28, Sergeant Robert Clarke from Costilla County Sheriff’s Office traveled to Oregon to bring Kenneth Hershey back to Colorado to face charges. Hershey was charged with one count of misdemeanor animal cruelty in Oregon and will be held in jail in Costilla County on a $50,000 bond.

Hershey has been charged with 107 felony counts and one misdemeanor. Charges include 104 aggravated counts of animal cruelty, one felony count of theft, one felony count for cyber crimes, one felony count for violation of probation and one misdemeanor count added by the District Attorney’s Office.

Animal welfare organizations across the state helped care for the dogs, including 47 brought to the League. Learn more about these dogs once they arrived at the League.

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