- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 4, 2015

WESTMINSTER, Mass. (AP) - Animal welfare officials say the owners of a Westminster dachshund breeding business are facing animal cruelty charges after some of their dogs were found living in squalid conditions in outdoor kennels.

The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals on Tuesday announced that Shirley and Edward Aguiar, owners of Shirl’s Whispering Winds, face seven counts apiece.

Authorities removed 71 dogs from the property last month.

The MSPCA says some of the dogs were undernourished, with matted fur, were coated in their own waste, and some lived in cages outside when temperatures dipped below freezing.

The MSPCA alleges the Aguiars subjected the dogs to “unnecessary suffering.”

No one answered at a listed phone number for the business. The family has previously refused comment. No arraignment date has been scheduled.

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