RENO, NV (KOLO) According to the Washoe County District Attorney’s Office, the investigation into Puppies Plus has been going on for two years.
Washoe County Animal Control began the investigation, and approached the DA’s Office to see if they had a case.
The Washoe County Grand Jury indictment was announced on Tuesday. September 4, 2019.
Workers inside the Puppies Plus Store on South Virginia Street closed the metal security gates to their business as we were taking pictures.
The owners themselves could have time behind bars if convicted of the counts handed down by a Washoe County Grand Jury.
Michael Schneider faces four counts of practicing veterinary medicine without a license.
His wife Leilani Schneider faces three counts of practicing veterinary medicine without a license and an additional count of animal torture and or killing an animal.
“Practicing veterinary medicine without a license that is a potential penalty of 4 years and up to a $5,000 fine,” says Michelle Bays, with the District Attorney’s Office. “And then an additional charge on the female defendant which is the felony animal abuse statute so that also is a four year term and a $5,000 fine,” says Bays.
The fine and four year sentence is per count.
The couple is accused of injecting fluid underneath the skins of various dogs at Puppies Plus for treatment of a real or perceived illnesses.
The indictment says they also administered prescription antibiotics like Tetracycline and Clavamox to animals.
They are suspected of, administering themselves and encouraging their employees to, deliver rabies shots as well as routinely placing dogs in sealed storage containers which were then filled with atomized medications so that the dogs would inhale the drugs.
The torturing and or killing count stems from an event heard by the grand jury.
In that instance Leilani is accused of withholding medical care from a cocker spaniel at Puppies Plus.
According to the indictment, she also instructed employees to withhold medical care, and instead told them to force deed the sick dog and inject the animal with fluid.
That dog died shortly after.
The Schneiders may be in court for an arraignment a soon as next week.
They are out of jail and out on bond as of Wednesday September 4, 2019.
The district attorney’s office asks if you have any information that can help investigators with this case you are asked to contact the office.