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Judge denies Hancock dog breeder's request to return seized canines to kennel


NEW CUMBERLAND, West Virginia — A judge has denied a Hancock County Havenese breeder's request to return more than 82 dogs seized from her kennel.

Media outlets report that 66-year-old Liz Vargo Tustin is facing 152 misdemeanor animal cruelty counts. The charges include 75 counts of failure to provide proper medical care and 77 counts of failure to provide proper sustenance.

Authorities seized the dogs on Nov. 19.

Tustin's attorney, William Galloway, told Hancock County Circuit Court Judge Martin J. Gaughan on Friday that the authorities' search and seizure of her kennel were illegal. He says Tustin has been deprived of her livelihood and denied due process.

The criminal charges are in magistrate court. Gaughan denied Tustin's request to return her dogs on jurisdictional grounds.

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