In all, 174 were seized.

All but 14 of the 174 dogs seized by Cass County sheriff’s deputies July 10 from a Wheatland breeder have been released from a Casselton animal clinic and sent to foster homes, a sheriff’s department spokeswoman said Thursday.

The 14 dogs still need foster homes, said Sgt. Tara Morris. The others were distributed through 4 Luv of Dog animal rescue and other area animal organizations to homes throughout the region.

Morris said the Casselton Veterinary Clinic had calculated that the cost of caring for the dogs since their seizure had topped $100,000.

An estimated $33,000 has been raised by a public fund established for the dogs’ care. It will be applied to offset the cost of care, Morris said. The clinic plans to waive the remainder of the cost, she said.

Darcy Smith, the dogs’ owner, has asked for a court hearing to determine whether his dogs can be returned to him. The hearing is set for Tuesday.

In a brief filed in Cass County District Court this week, Cass County prosecutors said the dogs were kept without access to food or water, and without air conditioning or ventilation in hot conditions.
The brief also said the dogs were kept in kennels saturated with urine and feces that, with inadequate grooming, culminated in severe matting.