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18 Cocker Spaniels Seized From Award-Winning NH Breeders

DURHAM, N.H. (CBS) – Police seized 18 cocker spaniels that were being kept in the basement of two award-winning breeders in Durham, New Hampshire on Tuesday.

Authorities said there did not appear to be any indications of physical abuse but dogs belonging to Bonnie and Wilson Pike did show signs of neglect. A tipster told police that there was a strong smell of feces and urine in their basement where the animals were kept.

cocker spaniel house
The home of the breeders, where the dogs were being kept. (Image credit: WGME)

The basement "absolutely reeked from animals' waste" and in some cases there were two dogs per kennel, Durham Deputy Police Chief Rene Kelley told The Portsmouth Herald, adding that it's not the first time animal investigators have visited the home.

The Pikes strongly denied allegations of neglect.

"This is devastating to me. We take wonderful care of our dogs," Bonnie Pike told the newspaper.

On their website, the Pikes showcase dogs who have won multiple awards. The American Kennel Club recognized the couple as a 2018 "Breeder Of The Year" and said they've bred 250 champions since 1983.

Wilson Pike told The Herald that the kennels holding two dogs are 3 feet by 3 feet.

"Why can't two dogs be in a pen like that? Where's the issue?" he said.

The Pikes face one count of animal cruelty. They are due to appear in Dover District Court on April 10.


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