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Caledonia rescue owner arrested after animals found in dangerous conditions

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Photo: Video by tmj4.com

Caledonia rescue owner arrested after animals found in dangerous conditions

By Shannon Sims. CREATED May 29, 2014 - UPDATED: May 30, 2014

UPDATE: According to the Wisconsin Humane Society, a total of 74 dogs, 8 cats and 2 pigs have been rescued.

The animals are being housed at the Wisconsin Humane Society's Milwaukee, Racine, Grafton locations, as well as at a private partner in Racine.

Police said the animals are not yet available for adoption, as they are evidence in a criminal case.

Those wishing to help can contact Wisconsin Humane Society.

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CALEDONIA -- The Wisconsin Humane Society spent most of Thursday removing some 60 dogs, cats, even a pig from the Orphan Kanines Rescue Shelter. Volunteers and vets were faced with toxic conditions due to all the animal feces and urine left on the floor.

"Sleeping and eating in their own feces. that is terrible," said Karen Appenzeller.

Caledonia investigators also searched the owner's Racine home. There, six more dogs were seized.

The rescue non-profit has been around for decades. However, a former board member said  the shelter was handed over to a woman a few years back. She was arrested Thursday, and now faces animal neglect and cruelty charges. That board member asked that TODAY'S TMJ4 not identify her.

"She came in one day wanting to give a donation and I said 'Gee I need someone to take over,' she said 'What about me?' and I said 'Yeah, that would be wonderful.'"

Its unclear when the non-profit started to show signs of trouble.

Tax records show the shelter listed as Orphaned Kanines Inc. last filed with the IRS in 2007. Three years ago the shelter was hit with a federal tax lien.

"That is so disappointing, I figured she was the perfect one for that place."

Shannon Sims

Shannon Sims

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Shannon Sims joined the TODAY'S TMJ4 team after working (most recently) with the morning team on FOX19 in Cincinnati, Ohio.