36 puppies and dogs seized in Pierce County after owner is accused of shooting them with a pellet gun

An animal-cruelty investigation led Pierce County deputies and animal-control officers to seize 36 puppies and dogs at what they called an illegal kennel operation near Tacoma on Wednesday.

Earlier this week, the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office got a tip that the owner of a Portland Avenue home in the Midland area was keeping a large number of dogs on the property. The tipster said the owner was shooting dogs with a pellet gun and sent video of the alleged abuse, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

The dogs, many of which appear to have been used for breeding, received an exam by vets, who will also determine the cause of scarlike marks found on the dogs, the Sheriff’s Office said.

A warrant was served at that same property in December for investigation of animal cruelty and animal fighting, KOMO reported. The previous dogs were seized and adopted out to new homes, and the owner was arrested and told by the court he could not possess more than five dogs, the station reported.