SPCA, police raid alleged Pine Bush puppy mill, seize 26 dogs

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Pine Bush -

An alleged puppy mill in Pine Bush was raided over the weekend by police following months of investigation.

State police and animal officers seized 26 dogs from a home on Rainbow Lane. One of the dogs had to be euthanized due to its poor health.

"The place was a mess. One dog was stepping in feces and urine," says Hudson Valley SPCA Chief Gene Hecht. "The cages were stacked one atop of each other. So one would urinate on the top on the dog below."

Hecht says homeowner Iren Ehrhardt would not let him or state police inside her home. Officers forced entry with a search and seizure warrant.

"[Ehrhardt] pushed the trooper right back into the wall. We just stood there. We were shocked. We couldn't believe she hit her," says Hecht.

Hecht says the SPCA conducts hundreds of investigations each year, but he had never seen a reaction like this before.

"She said 'I'm killing myself -- I can't live like this. I'm killing myself,'" says Hecht.

Ehrhardt was reportedly taken to Orange Regional Medical Center for mental evaluation. She is now facing 26 counts of animal cruelty.

Ehrhardt tells News 12 she is not a breeder and only took in dogs to help others. She denied that the dogs are kept in cages, saying they are only put in cages to feed them.

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