Dogs Seized in Newman May Be Linked to Modesto Puppy Mill

Seventeen sick dogs seized by Newman Animal Control are believed to be linked to the alleged operator of a large puppy mill in Modesto who was arrested in May.

Newman animal control officers found the dogs in kennels on a truck bed and attached trailer parked in a sunny dirt lot in the 600 block of Fig Lane at around 2:23 p.m. Wednesday, according to the Newman Police Lt. Newman Brett Short.

A neighbor who called police said the truck and trailer had been parked there since Monday and the dogs were without water or shelter.

The dogs were found covered in feces and some lacked fur and skin and appeared to be malnourished.

Short said all of the dogs had diarrhea and some had physical injuries, including one with badly infected wounds to his neck, scalp and shoulders. Short said a veterinarian could not determine the cause of the injuries.

A person of interest was found inside a house next to the dirt court. The person was taken by ambulance to hospital as they needed treatment for a chronic illness, Short said.

“He will most likely be arrested upon leaving the medical facility, he said.

All of the dogs — four French bulldogs, a Doberman, 11 pit bulls and a “little fluffy white dog” — were seized by animal control, Short said.

He said the trailer was registered to Nicholas Baugh, 38, who was arrested in May after 151 dogs were found living in deplorable conditions inside two duplexes on the 500 block of Roselawn Avenue in west of Modesto.

“Our person of interest is believed to be working or worked for him,” Short said.

One of those dogs was dead when officers arrived and another had to be euthanized, but the others – many of whom were also French bulldogs and Dobermans – were picked up by rescues.

Baugh has been charged with 15 counts of cruelty to an animal – two of the counts include enhanced knife use – and misdemeanor keeping an animal without proper care related to 134 dogs, as well as a domestic violence charge related to the Modesto case.

Assistant District Attorney Tracy Griffin, who is prosecuting the case, said Baugh does not face additional charges related to the Newman case, but the investigation is continuing.

Baugh remains in jail on bail set at $650,000. A preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for September.

The Newman Animal Shelter is seeking monetary donations to pay for necessary medical care, as well as dog food donations. Donations can be brought to the Newman Police Department during business hours Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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Officers responding to a report of possible animal neglect and abuse seized 18 dogs from a property on the 600 block of Fig Lane in Newman on Wednesday July 27, 2022. The dogs were found to be panting, without water and the majority without food. They were found to be covered in excrement and some in poor physical condition. Newman Police Department

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Officers responding to a report of possible animal neglect and abuse seized 18 dogs from a property on the 600 block of Fig Lane in Newman on Wednesday July 27, 2022. The dogs were found to be panting, without water and the majority without food. They were found to be covered in excrement and some in poor physical condition. Newman Police Department

This story was originally published July 28, 2022 1:24 p.m.

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Erin Tracy covers criminal justice and breaking news. She started working at the Modesto Bee in 2010 and previously worked at newspapers in Woodland and Eureka. She graduated from Humboldt State University.