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Puppy mill suspect charged with bail jumping

A Pierce County man who faces 125 animal neglect charges returns to court Tuesday, Sept. 26 on allegations he was scouting land for a dog kennel when he violated terms of his bond.

Prosecutors charged Elmwood resident Stuart E. West with misdemeanor bail jumping after an Aug. 7 incident in rural Pierce County. He makes his initial court appearance Sept. 26.

PREVIOUSLY: Puppy mill trial moved to fall

West faces 125 misdemeanor counts alleging he mistreated dogs and failed to provide proper food, shelter and ventilation at his home-based Alma Bottom Pointing Labradors business. That case is set for a six-day trial beginning Oct. 20.

According to a criminal complaint:

A Dunn County deputy was sent to a trespassing complaint, where a woman said her husband had been confronted by two men while he was bailing hay July 30 near his 110th Street home.

"One of those males, who was later identified as Stuart West, asked (the man) about buying land in the area so he could start a dog kennel," the complaint states.

West and the other man, who were witnessed in their vehicle with two dogs, left after the farmer said he wasn't interested in selling land.

The complainant said a neighbor saw the same vehicle, a white Chevy Trailblazer, return to the area. That witness said the SUV appeared to be on private property so he drove toward the vehicle on his ATV, but the vehicle evaded him.

The witness said he saw West and another man in the vehicle, along with a dog.

The Trailblazer was seen later that night in the area, but it left as another vehicle approached it.

The deputy learned about West's active animal neglect case and bond terms prohibiting from contact with animals.

The deputy phoned West, who admitted being in the area Aug. 6. West told the deputy he wasn't sure which property he was on but didn't think it was private land. He refused to say who was joining him.

"West did say at one point he pulled into a field driveway and let two dogs out 'to water themselves,'" the complaint states.

The deputy then warned West to stay off private property.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is a regional/enterprise reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage includes St. Croix County government, higher education and state politics in Wisconsin. 

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