HANCOCK, Iowa - Dog owners from across the country boarded their dogs at Young Gunz Kennel so they could be trained to be hunting dogs.
But now, owners are wondering how their pups were left for dead in kennels.
After dropping off her puppy "Duke" at Young Gunz Kennel in early April, Dani Allison of Spencer, Iowa, heard yesterday that Duke was one of three dogs found dead at the facility and the owner, Dustin Young, was nowhere to be seen.
"I think that he let our dog die and didn't have the courtesy to call us or tell us or do anything but put him in a black bag," says Allison.
Pottawatamie County Animal Control seized the dogs that were still living yesterday and took some to the Council Bluffs Humane Society and others to a makeshift shelter in Oakland where their owners could pick them up.
"All of them were pretty shaken of course at the time because none of them had water in probably two days. So we did give them water and food of course but there was a lot of diarrhea and things like that that you have to deal with," says Matt Wyant, who oversees animal control in Pottawattamie County.
The dog-training business was highly recommended by past customers which is why owners felt comfortable dropping off their dog there for months at a time. But the business was not licensed by the state.
"Any facility like this, if you're going to drop your dog off at it you need to vet the facility, find out if they have a permit to be operating in their jurisdiction, find out who's coming by their facility and inspect it."
While it's unclear if criminal charges will be pursued against Young, Allison hopes he ultimately gets jail-time.
"I just want him to not be allowed to eat when he wants, drink when he wants, same thing he did to those dogs."
Around a dozen dogs have also been reported missing from this facility and Wyant says it's likely that those dogs are either dead or have been sold or traded to a different owner.