LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – Nye County records show there were years of complaints against the rancher at the center of the Nye County animal abuse case.
In 2010 Vasili Platunov received a license to train and sell 30 dogs on his property in Pahrump.
Platunov said in a 2010 letter that Est-Alfa security services LLC specializes in professional canine security services across a wide range of public and private sectors.
The dog breeder’s property on Camillia Street in Pahrump, which is full of cages set up for the dogs, is now empty. Since at least 2015, county records show neighbors ringing the bell about noise and too many dogs on the limited land area.
“Nobody is doing anything. It’s years and years of that. This man is just thumbing his nose at everyone, the law, something has to be done now,” a neighbor said at a meeting of Nye County Commissioners in February 2020.
In 2015, Platunov filed an application to increase the number of Russian Caucasian Shepherds on Pahrump’s property from 30 to 130.
Prior to the planning commission meeting in 2015, a number of neighbors sent letters urging not to allow more dogs. They said Platunov already had far more than the 30 allowed.
The county denied Platunov’s request and said it was “based on failure to meet the following initial approval conditions.”
In 2016, county commissioners then gave him six months to reduce the number of dogs to 30.
Platunov appealed the decision and asked for two years to relocate the animals. He then filed a complaint, the commissioners said.
In 2018, the commissioners voted in favor of legal action because the breeder was not complying.
“I’m not going to do the litany, I just know that my neighbors over there are beside themselves. So can I offer to move things forward so we can move these dogs,” former Nye County Commissioner Dan Schinhofen said at the 2018 meeting.
Eventually, Platunov purchased more land in the Amargosa Valley, where the sheriff’s office said it recovered more than 250 dogs last week.
The attorney representing Platunov said his client tried to work with the county to find a solution.
“They were supposed to help the situation and if it was as bad as they say it was, then someone in the county has a lot of explaining to do,” attorney Thomas Gibson said.
FOX5 asked the Nye County District Attorney’s Office why no charges were filed sooner. The district attorney said the sheriff’s office didn’t say there were issues at the property.
Nye County Sheriff’s Captain David Boruchowitz said FOX5 code compliance cases have been filed before, but only more recently have there been complaints of animal abuse.
Boruchowitz said this spring that the department sent a request to initiate a criminal case to the prosecutor, but no action was taken until this month.
Platunov and Oksana Higgins are accused of keeping nearly 300 dogs in appalling conditions at two properties in Nye County: one in Pahrump and one in the Amargosa Valley. The couple made their first appearance in Nye County District Court on Monday morning.
The couple face more than 30 animal abuse charges.
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