K-9 Academy to give up animals after drug raid - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

K-9 Academy to give up animals after drug raid

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    The owner of the Tuscaloosa K-9 Academy who was arrested after a drug raid last month was in court Tuesday.

    Heather Litz was trying to keep some of the animals that remain in the facility in Berry of Fayette County from being put down.   She agreed with prosecutors to find homes for about a hundred dogs.

   "She will solicit other placements for the dogs.  The Humane Society will approve those placements," said her attorney Jim Standrige.

   District Attorney, Chris McCool said the animal hopefully be placed soon under the agreement.

   In October, undercover drug agents said they bought marijuana and crystal meth from the business.  It also lead to 20 counts of animal cruelty charges against Litz and three others.  Police showed ABC 33-40 animals crowded inside the facility which is a double wide mobile she and the other suspects were also living in.  Litz's attorney says, "She got overwhelmed.  She also got over burdened by the number of shelter dogs people were bringing and dropping off."

   Standridge blames the conditions of the facility where animals were kept on a tornado that tore up the place several years ago.  "The only dogs that were in bad condition were dogs that were brought there."

   But, authorities believe the dog training camp was a cover up for the alleged drug activity.

   D.A. McCool says,"We're going to proceed with the criminal cases based on the evidence and of course will try that case in court and not in the media."

   Litz attorney says she ran a legitimate business.  When asked when was the last time actual dog training to place at the facility he said "right up until the day they were arrested."

   Standrige says after Litz has relinquished all of the current dogs she plans to start all over.  However prosecutors tell ABC 33/40 they plan to fight against it "Our purpose is that she not accept any more dogs and that she not run that business," added D.A. McCool.

   Litz and the other three suspects will appear in court on the drug and animal cruelty charges December 4th.

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