The case traces to Batavia where in the early morning hours of April 26th Batavia Police Department received a complaint of a small dog barking on Thorpe St. Officers say they checked the scene and observed approximately 8 dogs but the home owner did not answer the door. A contact card was left and information was passed on to the City Animal Control Officer.
Two days later deputies say Joseph Wenzel Jr. called 911 stating someone had dropped off 50 Chihuahua dogs in cages at the end of his driveway on Bank Road in Middlebury Friday. Wenzel told them he had fed the dogs and the animals were contained. Wyoming County Animal Control and a sheriff’s deputy responded to the residence and it was decided not to move the dogs until the morning.
The next day, Sheriff’s Deputies removed 44 dogs from the residence. One dog was deceased. After an investigation it was determined the dogs were dropped off Friday morning by Wenzel's father, Joseph, Sr. after the City of Batavia Officer was at his residence. He later advised officers he could not take care of the animals any longer. Further investigation revealed the dogs were originally from the City of Batavia.
On May 9th, Joseph C. Wenzel Jr. age 54 from Bank Rd. Middlebury was arrested and charged with 44 counts of Animal Abuse and One count of Falsely Reporting. Wenzel Jr. was arraigned by Warsaw Justice Sundt and was committed to the Wyoming County Jail on $10,000 bail. He will reappear in Middlebury Court on June 3rd, 2013.
Wenzel's father Joseph Sr. has also been charged with 44 counts of animal abuse.