Posted: Oct 16, 2012 7:44 PM by Melissa Anderson - MTN News
Updated: Oct 17, 2012 12:39 PM
BOULDER- During the second day of the of Mike Chilinski trial in Jefferson County, jury members were allowed to see the conditions the malamute dogs were living in prior to being seized by authorities.
Jefferson County authorities acted on a search warrant of animal cruelty charges filed against Mike Chilinski back in October of 2011. Deputy Chad McFadden explained Tuesday that there were dozens of kennels, laden with feces, which covered the five-acre area.
He also described what was in the pictures he took at the scene where they found several carcasses believed to be dogs: "I would say 20 yards below the dead carcass that was in 171. It's what I would say is full remains of a dead dog."
The county, along with help from the Humane Society, seized 139 adult malamutes and 23 puppies. Photos were taken of each animal for the jury to view.
The initial warrant came after a couple from Nye, Montana, traveled to Chilinski's to look at buying a companion animal for their pet.
"The very first kennel we came upon as they started showing us around that kennel, in the dish which we assumed would be water, there was a greenish brown liquid," Bill Peterson told the jury.
Peterson showed the jury a copy of the $400 check they used to purchase the pet in September. But on the way home their new dog "Stella" wasn't acting right, and a vet check showed their new puppy was suffering from malnutrition and parasites.
"I couldn't feel a padding, just bones sticking out. Her coat felt like straw. She had a foul odor and smelled horrible," Peterson recalled.
Defense attorney Betsy Carlson asked, "Well did the vet say you need to like put him on an IV or hold him in the clinic or anything like that?"
Peterson replied no.
"I would have to say that this particular animal for its age was in the worst condition of any of the puppies that I've ever seen in my office," veterinarian Rex Anderson testified.
The defense claimed earlier that Chilinski suffered from a hurt back and had financial problems, and that the reason many of the dogs were sick was because he recently changed their dog food
Testimony from witnesses said buckets that were used to water the animals were mostly empty, adding that if there was water in them, it was green in color.
Despite several objections by the defense to show the video to the jury, the prosecution plans to bring up another video taken the next day, trying to prove that Mr. Chilinski didn't properly care for the animals.